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New Work: Vsauce

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As YouTube has matured into a source of original programming with audiences to rival those of any television network, its homegrown channels and series are finding themselves in the enviable position of needing many of the elements of more traditional broadcasting, including branding.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have collaborated with YouTube to develop a new brand identity for Vsauce, the group of wildly popular educational channels that feature videos on science, technology, gaming, and more. Establishing a cohesive look for the Vsauce platform, the identity plays off the unusual name and playful point of view with “fluid” typography and fresh, contemporary graphics.

Circular 18 Poster Giveaway

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This week, we are giving away twelve signed, limited edition A1 posters by Domenic Lippa and Jeremy Kunze. The posters are inspired by four interviews in ‘Circular 18’, the latest edition of the Typographic Circle’s members magazine, which was also designed by Lippa and Kunze.

We’ll be giving away three copies of each of the posters every day until Friday on our Twitter. To be in with a chance to win all you need to do is retweet one of our daily Tweets about the giveaway.

Design Insights from Deyan Sudjic

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On Tuesday 3 February Deyan Sudjic gave a talk at Pentagram’s London studio,  where he shared thoughts from his latest book B for Bauhaus.

An architect by training, Deyan is the Director of the Design Museum, which next year will complete a £80 million move from Tower Hill to the Commonwealth Institute in West London. Before taking the helm at the Design Museum, he was director of Glasgow UK City of Architecture and the Venice Architecture Biennale. He was also the Editor of Domus Magazine from 2000 to 2004, and was Founding Editor of Blueprint Magazine from 1983 to 1996.

Read highlights from his talk after the jump.


02/06/2015 | Permalink

Shake Shack: Branding a Better Burger

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As every Shackburger fan knows, Shake Shack serves some of the best burgers in the world. And now, with a recent IPO that has valued the company at a staggering $1.6 billion, more of the world will get to know the Shack: From its roots as a hot dog stand in New York’s Madison Square Park, the company has grown into a chain of 63 restaurants from Chicago to Dubai, and plans to use the additional funds to expand to over 400 locations in the next decade.

Tastiness of its burgers aside, no small part of Shake Shack’s success is due to its sophisticated sense of design, expressed in an iconic brand identity and environmental graphics by Pentagram’s Paula Scher and original restaurant architecture by James Wines and his firm SITE. (Shake Shack even noted its fantastic brand awareness as an asset in IPO prospectus.)

“The modernness of the identity is perfect in keeping with the quality of the food,” says Scher. “Shake Shack looks back to the classic burger stand but is a contemporary fast-food chain with a high-level product. It’s invented a whole new category.”

New Work: ‘In 80 Dingen um die Welt’

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In his classic novel Around the World in 80 Days, French author Jules Verne envisioned the future of travel and globalization bolstered by the technological advances of the late nineteenth century. The current exhibition at the Museum für Kommunikation in Berlin, In 80 Dingen um die Welt: Der Jules-Verne-Code (Around the World in 80 Things: The Jules Verne Code), explores the history of globalization via the route in Verne’s novel, taking visitors on a voyage of discovery around the globe and across time as told through 80 objects directly related to the story.

Pentagram’s Justus Oehler and his team in Berlin have designed the visual identity for the exhibition, which has been applied to posters, leaflets, and outdoor promotional banners. Pentagram also designed the 260-page exhibition catalogue and a series of three billboard posters displayed in subway stations around Berlin.

And Don’t Forget to Change the World

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Naresh Ramchandani explores how every piece of creative work can do good. 

Stuck to my psyche is a post-it note reminding me of the kind of work I always want to do. On the note are the words ‘… and don’t forget to change the world.’ It’s a pretty big phrase for a small imaginary post-it but it’s there to remind me that, every time I make a piece of creative work, I have the choice to make the world a little better or a little worse with that work, and the second option is not an option.

College Football Playoff Wins Big

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Last night Ohio State triumphed over Oregon 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Watched by a capacity crowd of 85,689 in the stands and a cable television record of 33.4 million viewers—ESPN’s largest audience and highest overnight rating ever—the game represents a stunning success for the new era in college football.

Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team created an iconic trophy and visual identity to build the foundation for the new four-team playoff and raise its profile in the national conversation. The designs were fundamental elements in shaping every aspect of a mega sports event that combines the excitement of a tournament with a championship game on par with the Super Bowl.

Sleek and contemporary, the 24-karat gold, bronze and stainless steel trophy expands on the identity originally created by Michael Gericke and Matt McInerney for College Football Playoff. The symbol’s two rising brackets represent the coming together of the best teams in the playoff system and form the shape of a virtual football—the four laces of the ball portray the four playoff teams.

Healing U.S. Healthcare

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In his new high-profile book America’s Bitter Pill, the journalist and media entrepreneur Steven Brill explores the complex issues around American health care and healthcare reform, from the hard-won fight for the Affordable Care Act to the inner workings of Big Pharma, hospital pricing and the insurance industry. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have created a pair of striking illustrations for the cover story on the book in this week’s New York Times Book Review, using adhesive bandages to form images of the United States and the American flag.

To create the illustrations, Bierut and Pentagram designer Britt Cobb collected stock images of bandages and painstakingly placed them at various sizes to form a silhouette of the continental US (made with 272 bandages) for the cover and the Stars and Stripes (72 bandages) for an interior spread. The country’s diversity of healthcare approaches is reflected in the sheer variety of bandages, from typical “Band-Aid”-style strips of different colors to unusual shapes like butterfly and spot bandages.

New Work: Apex for Youth

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Apex for Youth is a non-profit organization that has provides mentoring and educational programs for disadvantaged Asian and immigrant youth in New York City. Apex’s network of volunteers is made up of working professionals who provide support in academics, social skills, and community engagement for elementary through high school students. Many of the mentees are are first-generation college students, and are encouraged to become volunteers after graduating high school, helping to extend the outreach cycle of the Apex program. Apex for Youth also holds its annual Inspiration Awards Gala, celebrating exceptional students and outstanding members of New York City’s Asian community.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed a new identity for Apex that reflects the organization’s influential mission. The logo design is inspired by the tangram, a traditional Chinese dissection puzzle in which seven flat, geometric shapes are arranged to form familiar objects. The new Apex logo makes use of these shapes by forming an apple, symbolic of the organization’s educational mission and alluding to New York City’s most well-known moniker.