Infographics are a dynamic way to visualize data, stats and other figures, and are especially effective at showing opinions—presenting graphic snapshots of what people are thinking and feeling, that help to shape how we view the world. Blopboard is an innovative new social network that enables users to ask questions, share opinions, and visualize how opinions and attitudes change over time. The platform uses the power of infographics to share what people are thinking—in real time, as they think it.
Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and his team have designed and developed Blopboard as a visually and socially engaging community that invites anyone to share their ideas and opinions, with data aggregated in thought-provoking charts and diagrams that can be customized by users. The designers worked closely with Blopboard co-founder Amy Kaufman to create the structure and functionality of the platform, which is available as both a website and mobile app.
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Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has been named to the Surface Power 100, the magazine’s first annual list of influential figures in art, architecture, design, fashion, real estate, and more. Miller is honored alongside luminaries including Rem Koolhaas, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Liz Diller, Hella Jongerius, Jonathan Ive, Philippe Starck, Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Jeff Koons, and Ai Weiwei, among others.
In the accompanying article (print only), Miller previews his first monograph, Design and Content, to be released next month. “The book looks at how designers are constantly staging content for a reader, a user, or a consumer; the whole endeavor of design is so much about making content more effective or more beautiful or more deeply felt,” says Miller.
Check out the full Power 100 in Surface’s June/July issue, available here.
Trends show that an increasing number of young Americans are eschewing suburban sprawl for life in the big city. Young people have typically moved to cities in their early to mid-twenties, returning to the suburbs years later with new families and new jobs. However, this metropolitan exodus is leaving suburbia in crisis, as many of the suburban ideals that were once appealing—automobiles, sprawl, and isolation—are proving to be less sustainable in a modern world.
Amid these changes, a new trend of retrofitting suburbs is now gaining popularity in metropolitan planning. The garden suburb, a phenomenon that developed in the late eighteenth century in England and the U.S., is regaining prominence as an ideal setting for life outside of, yet accessible to the city.
In their new book, Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City (The Monacelii Press), architect Robert A.M. Stern and co-writers David Fishman and Jacob Tilove make a case for the garden suburb as a model for future suburbs. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, Aron Fay, and Yve Ludwig have designed Paradise Planned as a definitive history of the unique, outlying residential area and its relationship to the development of cities. The book was recently awarded the John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize by the Foundation for Landscape Studies.
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Presented by the National Art Museum of China, thingworld: International Triennial of New Media Art is the third edition in the museum’s series of large-scale surveys looking at current trends in art created with new media technologies. One of the most comprehensive international exhibitions staged in China, the 2014 triennial features 58 works by 65 established and emerging artists from 22 countries around the world. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed the identity, graphics and catalogue for the exhibition, on view this summer in Beijing.
Following earlier editions that focused on more ephemeral forms of new media art, the theme of this year’s triennial is “thingness”—object-based works that explore the salience of things. As triennial curator Zhang Ga describes it, “The world is a thing world…Thing is everything.” Many of the displayed works examine how objects mediate experience between people and the world around them.
Jen’s identity for the exhibition is built around customized Chinese typography. Chinese characters are pictograms—representing things—and the thingworld letterforms have themselves been objectified through modification.
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A behind-the-scenes look at the development and installation of Century at the AIGA National Design Center.
This week is your last chance to see Century: 100 Years of Type in Design, the landmark exhibition at the
AIGA National Design Center that celebrates the incredible diversity of typefaces and their integral role in design over the past 100 years. Created by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller and produced and curated by Monotype, the exhibition transforms the AIGA gallery into an immersive environment of typography.
In this video, Miller and Monotype Type Director Dan Rhatigan talk about how Century came together. Miller’s concept for the exhibition design builds on the idea that a single period contains the DNA of a typeface. In the finished exhibition, the walls and floor of the gallery at AIGA have been covered in a pattern of 1,058 different periods, drawing from 630 typefaces.
Century is on view at the AIGA National Design Center in New York through Thursday, July 31.
A miniature edition of Symbol is due to be published in August. Authored by Pentagram partner Angus Hyland, with Steven Bateman, it condenses the appeal of the original 2011 book into a new, smaller format.
“The idea behind the book is to explore the visual language of symbols according to their most basic element: form,” Hyland writes. “We have brought together symbols conceived all over the world, in different times and for different purposes, and categorized them by visual types.”
The book lays these symbols out in a manner divested of all agendas, meanings, and messages that might be given by their customary contexts, isolating them so that the reader can enjoy them as a pictorial language in their own right.
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The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a new museum that connects the American Civil Rights Movement with current struggles for human rights around the world. Located near Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, the Center harnesses the city’s legacy as a birthplace of civil rights activism to encourage visitors to think about the role they can play in protecting human rights.
Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a large-scale mural for the museum lobby that pays homage to the graphics of rights movements and brings them together in a bold new composition centered on a raised human hand. The installation has inspired its own viral mini-movement: Visitors are showing solidarity with the mural’s message by sharing images of their own “high fives” on social media.
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Located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights, Montague Street is one of Brooklyn’s most charming downtown streets and an important commercial corridor that hosts a mix of more than 100 shops, restaurants and services along tree-lined blocks of architecturally historic buildings and residences. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and her team have designed a new identity for the Montague Street Business Improvement District, the not-for-profit organization with the mission of making the street a great place to work, live and shop.
Oberman and her team worked closely with the BID’s Executive Director Brigit Pinnell to develop the identity. Oberman knows Montague Street well, having called it home for the past 8 years.
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The College Football Playoff National Championship trophy is the ultimate goal of college football teams across the United States. Awarded to the winner of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the trophy represents the highest level of team achievement in the Division 1 NCAA sport.
Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team have created a dynamic and contemporary design for the trophy. Commissioned for the new era of the College Football Playoff, the trophy will be presented on-field to the winner of the Championship Game on January 12, 2015.
The new trophy is designed to be raised in celebration by the winning team. An ascending virtual football, the trophy’s handcrafted gold brackets surround a hardened steel core. The design features a focused football at the center of the base that rises within the trophy to form an actual-size ball. Standing at a total height of three feet, the trophy and base are two integral but separate pieces, so the trophy may be lifted up independently when it is awarded at the championship game.
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Domesticity is perhaps one of the most fundamental beginnings of architecture—realized as bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc.—each devoted to a programmatic specificity. The Taiwan Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale explores the idea of private domesticity inverted as public space in the exhibition Township of Domestic Parts: Made in Taiwan. Curated and designed by the noted architect Jimenez Lai, the pavilion is a collection of nine small houses, each embodying one domestic program. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed an identity for the exhibition that showcases the theme in a lively mix of colorful graphics and custom typography, both in English and Chinese.
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