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New Work: University of Colorado Boulder

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Last month the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) began unveiling a new visual strategy created by Pentagram. Partner DJ Stout and designers Kristen Keiser and Stu Taylor in Pentagram’s Austin office worked closely with the university’s communications team led by Frances Draper, Michael T. Campbell and Jon Leslie to develop the comprehensive branding initiative.

An updated identity scheme designed by Landor Associates was adopted by the University in 2010. The University of Colorado system includes CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs, CU Anschutz Medical Campus (in Denver) and the original campus in Boulder. Stout and his team were engaged by CU-Boulder a year ago this month and tasked with the challenge of developing a visual strategy that would distinguish the mothership from the other three campuses in the University of Colorado system. The new strategy needed to convey the distinctive personality of CU-Boulder without violating the systemwide identity guidelines developed by Landor.

“The trick was coming up with something that expressed the unique, quirky character of the Boulder campus while wearing the straitjacket of the new identity system,” says Stout. “I felt a little bit like Houdini at times.”

New Work: Pepsi and the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium

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When fans arrive at MetLife Stadium this Sunday for Super Bowl XLVIII, they’ll be greeted by a dramatic new entrance for Pepsi, one of the game’s major sponsors. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team, the huge installation transforms the gate into an unexpected celebration of the Pepsi brand, complete with a pair of unique graphic sculptures inspired by the Pepsi bottle and a four-story high rendition of the famous Pepsi Globe logo.

From Olive Green to Black and White

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Founded by Thomas Lommel, an extraordinary man who was once a German army athlete and now speaks with olive trees, Oliveda is a cosmetics company that uses age-old mediterranean recipes to offer high quality natural products. As the company has grown and acquired other brands including Bio Revital AG, Oliveda has ambitions to expand into 20 new countries and was looking for a complete relaunch of the brand. Pentagram’s Justus Oehler was approached to design the logo, packaging, website and communication materials.

2wice Featured in the Guggenheim’s Works & Process Series


Watch a video retrospective of 2wice, from its first incarnation as Dance Ink to its recent series of groundbreaking apps.

For two decades, Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has collaborated with the arts patron and publisher Patsy Tarr on pioneering new platforms for dance performance, first in the pages of Dance Ink magazine, then in the unique editions of 2wice. Most recently they have collaborated on a series of apps for 2wice that turn the digital screen of an iPad into a new kind of performance space. Their latest app, DOT DOT DOT, invites viewers to interact with the spatial and temporal representation of dance in a piece specifically designed, choreographed and scored for the digital tablet. On January 27 Miller and Tarr will discuss the app and their ongoing collaboration at “2wice: Dancing from Page to Stage to Screen,” a presentation in the performing arts series Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

Miller and Tarr will be joined at the talk by their DOT DOT DOT collaborators, the choreographer Tom Gold and videographer Ben Nicholas. The event is part of the 30th anniversary season of Works & Process at the Guggenheim and will be presented in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Peter B. Lewis Theater. Miller knows the museum well, having designed the look and feel of the Guggenheim identity, as well as the definitive history of its architecture. 2wice was recently honored by the alternative New York performance space La MaMa.

“2wice: Dancing from Page to Stage to Screen” will be presented Monday, January 27 at 7:30 pm at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue in New York. Tickets are available here.

New Work: ‘Coyote v. Acme’

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In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products—Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes—invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.

New Work: Centro Roberto Garza Sada, Universidad de Monterrey

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A school of design and architecture that is itself a bold architectural statement, the Centro Roberto Garza Sada (CRGS) is a new arts center at the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. Located in the mountainous landscape of northeast Mexico, the monumental concrete building rises out of its surroundings to announce the university and has quickly become an iconic landmark for the growing city of Monterrey. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed a comprehensive program of signage, wayfinding and environmental graphics for the center that complement the raw physicality of Ando’s building with clean, crisp shapes and sleek, smooth surfaces.

The CRGS was conceived by Ando as a “Gate of Creation” that is both a marquee building for UDEM and a metaphor for the learning process. The six-story structure acts as a gateway for the campus and provides amazing vistas of the region. Constructed of cast concrete, the monolithic, minimalist form bridges over a massive triangular void at its center. The portal is meant to symbolize the opening or beginning of the students’ educational journey, and anchors the diagonal axis of the campus. The building was recently honored at the 2013 World Architecture Festival, where it was short-listed in the Higher Education and Research category.

How To Get A Name Right

By Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani, originally published in YCN Magazine’s Winter issue. 

Notepads, texts to self, dictionaries, thesauruses, long lists, shortlists, hope, despair. Right now I’m trying to name two different products for two different companies and it hurts. Despite the fact that I’ve helped to name a hotel, a law service, two agencies, a football club, a range of whiskies, a property company, a charity night, a lice removal boutique, an environmental service, a band, three cats, a house and three children, it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, it gets harder. The more I name, the more I realise how much rides on a name. Let me count the ways.

First of all, a good name should do a good job of suggesting. If you haven’t heard of something and you hear its name, you should get a sense of what it is, what it does, and how it does it. ‘Have you worked with Digital Beast?’ Cue expectations of small agency of ten to fifteen men in their mid twenties holed up in an attic or basement on the east side of London devoid of social skills but great at working through the night on beer and special fried rice to get the job done. “No but send me a link.”

Equally importantly, a good name should do a good job of reminding. If you’ve tried something and hear its name, a good name should be a verbal hyperlink back to the experience you had when you tried it. “Have you heard anything by Shredded Angel?” Cue memories of that unforgettable night where you saw a new dubstep band, the name evoking your vodka-tinged impressions of a wan threesome delivering their hypnotic trance ballads that swayed between reluctant anger and genuine heartbreak. “Yup, I saw them at Heaven supporting Alt Disney.”

Ho Ho Ho!

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum celebrates the holidays this year with an animated greeting designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, recipient of the 2013 National Design Award for Communication Design. The fast and festive clip spells out Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” with over 110 different H’s and O’s that appear in typefaces including Bifur, Knox, Leitura Display, Rosewood and the very timely Snowflake, and as objects including cookies, clocks, wreaths, ornaments, snow globes, and more. How many can you identify?

Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Lingxiao Tan, designer.

A New Tea Identity

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Have you ever had a great cup of tea at a music festival?

YANG CHAI is a new brand from a Munich-based entrepreneur which sources and creates new tea varieties and then makes them available at festivals, at open air markets and through an online shop.

YANG CHAI targets a young, design-conscious audience and therefore wanted to provide an alternative to the current tea brand trends. “We wanted to position this brand well away from the ‘homely’ or ‘organic’ looking tea brands which have come to the market in recent years”, says Justus Oehler, Pentagram partner.