Pentagram’s Abbott Miller surveys his work for the first time in Design and Content, a new monograph out today from Princeton Architectural Press. For the book, Miller assumes both roles of designer and author, presenting his work as a catalog of design strategies that emerge from the unique circumstances of form and content.
Miller takes readers through projects ranging from books, magazines, and identities to exhibitions, environmental graphics, apps and wallpaper. The book includes a diverse range of projects for clients such as Harley-Davidson, the Guggenheim, Vitra, Knoll, Formica, and Rolling Stone, as well as Miller’s pioneering work as an art director and editor, most notably for the visual and performing arts foundation 2wice. The book highlights his collaborations with artists such as Matthew Barney, Yoko Ono, William Kentridge, Twyla Tharp and Merce Cunningham, and architects Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
The book features a foreword by Rick Poynor and an essay by Ellen Lupton, as well as a new essay by Miller and three pieces originally written for Eye. A roundtable conversation on contemporary design practice with fellow Pentagram partners Michael Bierut, Eddie Opara and Paula Scher concludes the book.
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The campaign for the 2014-2015 season at the Public uses dynamically skewed typography.
Pentagram’s Paula Scher puts a new slant on her iconic identity for the Public Theater in the campaign for the institution’s 2014-2015 season, launching this month. Designed with Kirstin Huber, Senior Graphic Designer at the Public, promotions for the upcoming slate of productions use skewed typography for a dynamic take on the theater’s signature look. The campaign marks the 20th anniversary of Scher’s continuing collaboration with the Public.
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Circular is the members magazine of The Typographic Circle, the non-profit, all-volunteer organisation for anyone with an interest in type and typography. Designed by Pentagram’s Domenic Lippa and Jeremy Kunze, the latest issue of the publication, Circular 18, puts type front and center with a layout that is almost entirely typographic. Circular 18 is the tenth consecutive issue designed by Lippa and his team.
The Typographic Circle prides itself on providing a platform for a number of voices, and is known for its series of diverse monthly lectures by leading industry figures, as well as the London presentation of the annual New York Type Directors Club exhibition. Speakers at Circle events have included Trevor Beattie, Stefan Sagmeister, Ken Garland, Jonathan Barnborook, Anthony Burrill, Rick Poynor and Sir John Hegarty, among others. Lippa has had a long-standing relationship with the organisation, having served on the committee for many years and also as its Chair.
These many different voices come into play in the new Circular. Each edition of Circular is individually designed, giving Lippa and his designers an opportunity to explore different typographic solutions. The previous issue, Circular 17 (from 2011), was completely visual. For the new issue, Lippa wanted to create a design that was predominantly typographic. Titled “Words & Images,” the new issue features a series of interviews with previous guest speakers conducted by Lippa himself, as well as other members of the Circle executive committee, including current chairperson Alan Dye of NB Studio, Louise Sloper and Val Kildea.
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This year’s edition of The Atlantic’s annual Ideas issue focuses on creativity and “how genius happens.” To celebrate the theme, the magazine invited three leading artists and designers to create images for a collection of cover for the issue, each highlighting a different aspect of creativity.
For his cover, Pentagram’s Eddie Opara rendered the brain as a colorful network of lines and connections. The illustration accompanies “Secrets of the Creative Brain,” an article by the neuroscientist Nancy C. Andreasen about the brain processes that foster creativity. In his note about the cover series, Atlantic Creative Director Darhil Hooks says Opara presents “the brain—an unfathomably complex organ—as an object both simple and beautiful.” Other covers for the issue were created by Shepard Fairey and Geoff McFetridge.
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The ongoing series of typographic posters designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut for the Yale School of Architecture has made use of literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. For the poster announcing the school’s fall 2014 lectures and exhibitions, Bierut and designer Jessica Svendsen wanted to try Maelstrom, an unusual new font by Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry. The reversed-stress typeface makes the typically thick strokes of a letter thin, and the thin strokes thick. The font’s architectural quality is brought out in the poster, which stacks the letterforms and their heavy horizontals into a typographic structure. (The designers made some small modifications to the “E” and “F” to slightly improve legibility.) The school’s circular “Y” emblem also appears in Maelstrom.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jessica Svendsen, designer.
The third edition of EXEL, the annual research magazine published by Drexel University in Philadelphia, begins hitting mailboxes this month. The new 2014 issue was designed and produced by designer Carla Delgado in Pentagram’s Austin office, with DJ Stout serving as art director and partner-in-charge. The Pentagram team, working with programmer Hunter Cross, also developed EXEL magazine’s online counterpart, exelmagazine.org.
The latest issue of the award-winning publication features an eye-catching shot of PVC pipe on its cover. Yes, PVC pipe—plastic pipe. The magazine’s distinctive cover format unfolds to reveal the name Drexel, a large graphic letter “X,” and a striking image of the blue pipe. Like the previous issues, the third edition of EXEL features a wide array of visually dynamic scientific photography, illustration and infographics, which are used in inventive layouts to express Drexel’s rich research narratives.
“Our emphasis is on featuring the research—the actual subject matter of the research—not just the researchers,” says Stout. “We believe science and research is inherently interesting.”
Continue reading “Update: Drexel University’s EXEL Magazine 2014″
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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