Naresh Ramchandani explains how we came to make a short film about one of Britain’s most thoughtful, but lesser known, poets.
I don’t know about you, but my life affords me barely any time to think. The amount of attention I give to my family, my work and to my other duties and pleasures – all manifest through unending calls, meetings, texts, emails and to do lists which never seem to shorten – leaves me precious little time for contemplation. It wasn’t always so.
When I was younger, I used to consider the world around me, and notice things, and think things, such as no matter when you reach a place, your nose will have got there first, or the fact that a stopped clock will tell the right time twice a day. These were not idle thoughts but simple reflections on a world which I had time to attend to, be mindful of and curious about.
That’s why it was such a pleasure last year to discover a minor poet by the name of Henry Ponder, a man tweeting very short daily poems in which he contemplated his everyday world. Henry wrote about the restorative nature of sweeping a floor, and the brusqueness of the language of warning signs, and the inner-softness and vulnerability of a pain au raisin, and more. As I followed his poems, they became mini-mediations not just in his day but mine, reminding me think beyond my immediate preoccupations; reminding me to stop and smell life’s proverbial flowers.
I decided that this unknown poet deserved to be better known. I contacted him on Twitter and arranged to meet him. In person, he was a small, shy man shy with unkempt hair and thick-rimmed glasses. When I suggested the idea of making a very short film about him, he thought for a while, and then said “That would be kind.”
Continue reading “A Pentagram Production: The Poems of Henry Ponder”
Partner DJ Stout and designer Carla Delgado in Pentagram’s Austin office have redesigned the flagship publication of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). The second issue of the new magazine will be mailed this month. In addition to completely revamping the publication, the Pentagram team, working closely with the MFAH’s Director, Gary Tinterow, and the museum’s Publisher in Chief, Diane Lovejoy, changed the title’s name from MFAH Today to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Magazine, or “h Magazine” for short.
Continue reading “New Work: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Magazine”
Angus Hyland has designed Nick Cave’s latest book, The Sick Bag Song. Written during Cave’s 22-city tour of North America in 2014, the book reproduces in full colour 22 sick bags filled Cave’s scribbles about his encounters. Sitting somewhere between the styles of The Wasteland and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the book provides an intimate insight into Cave’s imaginative universe.
Continue reading “New Work: ‘The Sick Bag Song’”
Pentagram recently hosted a private view of ‘Everyday Things’, a collection of 19 objects by artists and designers curated by Do The Green Thing and WWF-UK to promote Earth Hour 2015. During the evening, 200 people filed into Pentagram’s front room to enjoy the exhibition and hear Naresh Ramchandani – the co-founder of Do The Green Thing and Pentagram partner – speak about why it was put together.
This is the third time that Do The Green Thing has teamed up with WWF-UK to create a campaign for Earth Hour. In previous years, the campaigns have been poster-based, featuring submissions from the great and the great, including Sir Paul Smith, Sir Quentin Blake, Marion Deuchars, Neville Brody, Rankin and Pentagram partners Paula Scher, Marina Willer, Domenic Lippa, Harry Pearce, Natasha Jen, Abbott Miller and Angus Hyland.
This year, Do The Green Thing and WWF-UK wanted to do something a little different. As Naresh Ramchandani explains, “We wanted to create pieces that could be in the real world rather than on a screen; that could be physically worn, touched, held, sat on, used; that could give a better sense of what a sustainable life and would actually look and feel like.”
Continue reading “An Evening of Everyday Things”
Emily Oberman has designed a new identity for Bike New York, a non-profit organization that promotes cycling throughout the city.
Spring has finally sprung, and New Yorkers are hopping on their bikes to greet the beautiful weather. Just in time for the cycling season, Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and her team have rolled out a bold new identity for Bike New York, the city’s leading proponent of biking as a practical, sustainable, and healthy means of transportation and recreation. Along with the identity, the update includes a redesign of the Bike New York website, cycling guides and other collateral, and looks ahead to the organization’s biggest events, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour and Bike Expo New York, scheduled for May 1-3.
With a growing network of over 900 miles of bike lanes and the recent launch of the Citi Bike bike-share program, cycling in New York is more popular than ever. Over the past year and a half, Oberman and her team have been working with Bike New York on elements of its brand identity and messaging, with the goal of helping the non-profit organization better engage and connect with all of New York’s riders. While creating the new identity, the team designed the promotional campaigns for last year’s Tour and Expo, which previewed the new look.
Continue reading “New Work: Bike New York”
Paula Scher has designed a new identity for The New School that utilizes a custom font with letterforms in three different widths.
The New School has been at the vanguard of innovation in higher education for almost a century. Founded in 1919, the progressive university in New York’s Greenwich Village now combines design thinking with varied areas of study: from liberal arts to performing arts, from global policy to social research. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for The New School and its constituent institutions—Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts, and Mannes School of Music, to name just a few—that reflects the university’s unique interdisciplinary approach.
Using custom typography, the identity establishes an iconic brand for The New School as a whole, while also setting apart the university’s different schools, institutes and programs. The identity introduces a groundbreaking bespoke typeface called Neue that is composed of extended letterforms. The typeface is revolutionary in its combination of regular, extended and very extended widths of the same font programmed together and used all at once. The typography embodies the progressive mission of The New School and represents a technological advance in the art of type design.
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Naresh Ramchandani tells the journey of an idea, from conception to execution.
This month, Do The Green Thing, the environmental charity I help to run, launched Everyday Things, a wonderful collection of everyday objects made by artists and designers to act as inspiring canvases for sustainable messaging and inspiring examples of sustainable design. The collection was made in collaboration with WWF-UK and celebrates Earth Hour, the worldwide lights off event.
We received many brilliant submissions from many brilliant creative people, including Flower Glass, a beautiful vase made from a wine glass and a coat hanger by Daniel Weil, Marina Willer’s handmade Sketchbox sketchbooks made from recycled cardboard and paper, wonderful badges made from old bottle tops by Ron Arad, a working record player made from paper by Simon Elvins, lights made out of Hawaiian beach litter by Sophie Thomas, and many more.
Inspired by these submissions, my team decided to turn try and create our own Everyday Thing. We’d noticed a slew of pencils in Pentagram London’s studio, discarded before they had been sharpened very far. To combat this wastage, and celebrate the creative potential of the humble pencil, we decided to challenge ourselves to create a set pencils that would encourage people to use them to the very end.
It turned out to be way harder than we first imagined, and took us nine attempts to get to something we were happy with. So you can enjoy our pencil highs and lows, allow me take you on our pencil journey through the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly to our final idea, Pencils To The End.
Continue reading “A Journey of Many Pencils”
Over the course of seven seasons, the landmark series “Mad Men” has charted the rise of ad man Don Draper in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. Today AMC unveils a special installation that commemorates the show’s impact in the city. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, the monument takes the form of a sleek, elegant bench that features the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence. Pentagram project coordinator Julia Lindpainter worked closely with AMC and the bench’s fabricator, DCL, to manage the design’s careful execution.
The bench is located outside the Time & Life Building, the fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (changed to Sterling Cooper & Partners in the sixth season), where Draper and fellow characters Roger Sterling, Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway and Peter Campbell work in the series. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner and stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery were on hand today for the sculpture’s unveiling.
The installation coincides with the show’s final seven episodes, which kick off on Sunday, April 5. The bench will be on display in the Time & Life Building Plaza at 1271 Avenue of the Americas (between 50th and 51st Streets) for fans and passersby to enjoy from March 23 through the summer.
Continue reading “New Work: ‘Mad Men’ Monument”
From England with Love is a new 48-page booklet by Mulberry that was designed, edited and written in collaboration with Angus Hyland and his team. The book tells the story of the brand’s heritage, creative philosophy and dedication to English craftsmanship.
Founded in 1971 by Roger Saul with a birthday gift of £500, Mulberry has grown into Britain’s largest manufacturers of leather goods. From their two factories in Somerset they have produced a series of iconic bags, each known for their use of natural leathers, their shapes and their names – Roxanne, Bayswater, Alexa, Lilly and Cara.
Throughout the years, Mulberry’s blend of Somerset’s countryside style and London’s city chic has been influenced by collaborations with fashion’s elite, including Luella Bartley, Giles Deacon, Stuart Vevers, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne.
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Harry Pearce explains why he decided to make a poster out of his own blood.
I was recently asked to create a poster for the ‘Questioning the Bomb’ exhibition launching at the Art Gallery of Maryland in the US this September.
The exhibition marks 70 years since the twin nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, a moment that still resonates as one of the most shocking in human history.
The visual idea and the line came simultaneously. I was looking at ink drops underwater, for a completely different project, and when I turned the picture upside down I saw the mushroom cloud.
Continue reading “New Work: It’s All Our Blood”