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New Work: Penguin Random House


Animation introducing the new Penguin Random House identity.

When the two publishing giants Penguin and Random House merged in 2013, the combined companies faced the challenge of merging two iconic graphic identities. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have created a flexible brand system for Penguin Random House that establishes a new identity for the corporate parent while also preserving and enhancing the individual identities of the group’s 250 imprints.

The identity introduces a new Penguin Random House wordmark that can be used in conjunction with the logo of any one of the 250 imprints, which include leading literary brands such as Alfred A. Knopf, Crown, DK, Fodor’s, Puffin, and more. The logotype may also appear on its own, framed by two rules that “bookend” the mark. (The orange color of the “bookends” is a subtle reference to Penguin’s brand heritage.) Set in the typeface Shift Light, which evokes a typewriter font, the new wordmark underscores the importance of the written word to the company’s culture and work.

The new system replaces an interim identity that paired the two symbols of Penguin and Random House. The identity will mainly be visible in corporate communications; the various imprints and brand symbols will continue to be used without the pairing—for instance, on the spines of books.

New Work: Pecha Kucha Austin 20 Poster

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Pecha Kucha, which means “chit chat” in Japanese, is an evening of creative inspiration originally imported from Tokyo in 2003. Currently there are over 700 chapters in cities all over the world. The challenging Pecha Kucha format involves 10 local speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines who are allowed 20 slides a piece set on a timer of 20 seconds per slide. The fast-paced “20 x 20″ presentations, just over six minutes per person, make for a thoroughly entertaining night of insight, artistry and passion. The Austin chapter was founded by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser, and Lana McGilvray and Pentagram partner DJ Stout took over as directors in 2011.

Stout and his colleague Stu Taylor at Pentagram’s Austin office started designing original posters for the events with Pecha Kucha volume 10, which was staged at a rock ‘n’ roll hot rod customizing garage called the Austin Speed Shop, and they have now completed the poster for Pecha Kucha 20, to be held on Wednesday, June 4 at 8:20 PM, on the rooftop of The Contemporary Austin. Over time the commemorative silk-screened posters, which always feature the names of the 10 guest presenters, have become collectors’ items in Austin.

Harry Pearce’s Photographs Become Limited Edition Prints

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Harry Pearce has donated 10 personal photographs from the streets of Naples to the ‘Made in Cloister’ project, for which he designed the identity in 2013.

The images were shot during Pearce’s research for ‘Made in Cloister’ and these photographs have been printed with the aquatint etching technique by Vittorio Avella’s artisan printing house. 10 signed images of each print, 750cm by 530cm in size are being exhibited within the ruins of Naples’ oldest cloister, Santa Caterina from the sixteenth century, close to the Aragonese Walls and Porta Capuana, and are being sold to support the project.

New Work: Shakespeare in the Park 2014

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The works of William Shakespeare span from the lightest comedies to the darkest tragedies, a range celebrated in this year’s productions of Shakespeare in the Park, the annual free performances presented by The Public Theater at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This summer’s program juxtaposes Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s most joyful works, with King Lear, one of his most devastating.

Paula Scher’s campaign for the 2014 festival sets the two plays against each other, with the lively green and yellow of Much Ado balanced by the shadowy black and gray of Lear. The contrasting points of view are paired in dramatically skewed typography, a first for the annual campaign. The type is set in Knockout, the font of the Public Theater identity.

Preview: ‘OfficeUS’ at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

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Pentagram’s Natasha Jen has designed the identity, environmental graphics and publications for the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition—la Biennale di Venezia, opening in Venice on June 7. Titled OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion is a working architecture office that explores 1,000 projects designed by 200 U.S. offices working abroad. Jen is part of a collaborative team—organized by Storefront for Art and Architecture, in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture—that were selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. This edition of the Biennale is directed by the architect Rem Koolhaas and centers on the theme “Fundamentals.”

New Work: JLL

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Pentagram’s Justus Oehler and his team in the Berlin office have updated the brand identity of JLL , the global real estate services provider. The new logo accompanies the shortening of the company’s name from Jones Lang LaSalle to JLL.

A leader in its category, JLL specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management and employs 48,000 people in 1,000 locations in 70 countries around the world. The JLL symbol is known as the “Worldmark” and represents a truly global company comprised of multiple strands of expertise working in collaboration. Oehler and his designers have retained the iconic symbol for the refresh, but made it red to help it better stand out and added shading to make it more dimensional.

New Work: Storefront for Art and Architecture Manifesto Series

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The “Manifesto Series” of discussions presented by the Storefront of Art and Architecture in New York invites artists, architects, critics and historians to participate in a spirited exchange of ideas about architecture. Established in 2010, the ongoing series is one of Storefront’s signature programs and reinvents the manifesto form as a way to develop and encourage new thinking in short, concise events with a polemical context.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have designed a new series of books based on the talks. Issued by Storefront in partnership with Lars Müller Publishers, the first two titles in the series are 01: Formless and 02: Double, with more to follow. Jen’s design for the series captures the immediacy and inventiveness of the talks with a dynamic format that rethinks the structure of the book as an object.

Berry Bros. & Rudd: Part 1, Core Identity

Creating a modern, robust identity for the world’s most respected wine merchants, Berry Bros. & Rudd, who are still based in their original home of No. 3 St James Street, was a particular challenge. Berry Bros.& Rudd are the direct link between the makers and the drinkers of wine.

The new identity had to feel as if it had always existed. The previous manifestation had been created in the 1980′s and had no reference to the company’s history or authenticity. To uncover its lost stories, Pentagram scoured the grounds of their original home at No. 3, researching and photographing a host of branded artefacts spanning five centuries. Studying wine labels, walls and old publications a great array of typographic styles were found, each with their own eccentricities.

Daniel Weil’s Time Machines Opens at the Design Museum

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“Dense, inventive, chaotic, cerebral, surprising and fun” is how Michael Bierut describes fellow partner Daniel Weil’s exhibition, which opened last night at the Design Museum and was celebrated by all 19 global partners and friends of Pentagram.

Time Machines: Daniel Weil and the art of design is a cross-section of 30 years of design process and projects showing influences, inspiration and the action of designing. The show is curated by Martina Margetts, Senior Tutor in Critical & Historical Studies, Royal College of Art, who has worked closely with Daniel over recent months to decode his creative instincts and outputs and tell his story. The product of their forensic process of sifting, sorting and surfacing is now laid out for all to enjoy until August 25.“The exhibition is a glimpse into a creative world that very few have seen,” says Bierut. “It is a world you will be happy to visit.”

New Work: Music Under New York

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New York’s diverse music scene travels underground for Music Under New York, the program of MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design that brings quality music to the commuting public. Established in 1985, Music Under New York presents over 7,500 performances annually in the MTA’s subways and railroads. More than 350 soloists and groups currently participate in the program, performing music in genres ranging from Aboriginal didgeridoo, bluegrass, and Brazilian jazz to traditional Chinese orchestral music, soul and klezmer.

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a new identity for Music Under New York that launches today with the program’s 27th annual auditions, which are being held at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. Inspired by MTA New York City Transit’s iconic subway signage, the new branding will be used to identify Music Under New York performers throughout the transit system. Scher is serving on the panel of 35 judges for today’s auditions, which will select approximately 20 new performers to add to the roster.