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Tag Archives: 40th Anniversary

This Is 40

What’s in 40 years? For Pentagram’s recent 40th anniversary party in New York, partner Emily Oberman and her team assembled a montage of classic movie moments from the past four decades of Academy Award winners for Best Picture. The designers looked at hundreds of sequences from all 40 films, from “The Godfather” to “The Artist,” and edited together 40 cheers, 40 kisses, 40 dance moves, 40 ka-booms, and more. The clips were projected during our party, where they helped inspire many new moments, all of them celebratory. Here’s to another 40!

Project Team: Emily Oberman, partner-in-charge and lead designer; Jonathan Correira, designer; Laura Tomaselli, editor; Graham Holly, animator; Lucea Spinelli, project coordinator.

Celebrating Pentagram’s 40th Anniversary

Pentagram recently celebrated our 40th anniversary with a gala party in New York. Over 1,000 friends, clients and colleagues gathered at the Edison Ballroom near Times Square to dine, drink and dance, with our current international partnership and many past partners in attendance.

To help set the mood, Natasha Jen and her team designed supersized 5-feet-high by 7-feet-wide “speech bubble” balloons that were suspended from the ceiling of the ballroom (no small talk at this party!) while Emily Oberman and her team created a montage of iconic movie moments from the past 40 years that played on screens throughout the venue.

The “epic bacchanal” recently received the “Midlife Crisis Averted Award” in Design Observer’s year-end wrap-up. Here’s to 40 more!

From the Archive: ‘Not a Tie’

Celebrating our 40th birthday has put us in a retrospective mood. Over the coming year New at Pentagram will periodically take a look back at classic, timely or rarely seen projects from the Pentagram archive that are some of our favorites.

First up is something just in time for Father’s Day. One of Michael Bierut’s first projects after joining Pentagram in 1990 was for an old friend, Terron Schaefer, who was then marketing director of Brookstone. Schaefer had a last-minute assignment: an arresting promotion for Father’s Day to encourage shoppers to buy the kind of out-of-the-ordinary gifts that are a Brookstone specialty. The designer responded with a simple sketch based on international transportation icons, which Brookstone accepted immediately and expanded to packaging, wrapping paper, in-store signage, and advertising. Years later, Schaefer and Bierut went on to work together at Saks Fifth Avenue, where today Schaefer is Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer.

Happy Father’s Day!

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Dorit Lev, illustrator.

Forty Posters for Forty Years

Pentagram was founded 40 years ago today, on June 12, 1972, in London by the designers Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes, Theo Crosby, Kenneth Grange and Mervyn Kurlansky. The company was formed when Pentagram’s predecessor, Crosby Fletcher Forbes, added two new partners, Grange and Kurlansky, expanding the multi-disciplinary partnership to five.

For the anniversary the 19 current Pentagram partners, under the creative direction of Harry Pearce, have designed a series of posters for the 40 years since Pentagram’s birth. Each partner created posters for two or three different years, and the only parameters for the series were the use of black, white and red (Pentagram Warm Red, of course). The subjects range from significant historic or cultural landmarks—see Paula Scher’s tribute to the 1977 New York blackout, Daniel Weil’s depiction of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Emily Oberman’s salute to the 1991 release of Nirvana’s Nevermind, or Luke Hayman’s take on the 2008 financial crisis—to events in Pentagram’s history, like the founding of Pentagram Berlin in 2002, commemorated in a poster by the office’s partner, Justus Oehler. Some partners take an illustrative approach. In her three posters, Natasha Jen, working with Pentagram designer Jin Kwang Kim, has created landscapes featuring iconic Pentagram projects. (In a demonstration of Pentagram’s longevity, Jen, the company’s most recent partner, designed the poster for the year 1973, which predates her birth.) In his poster for 1982, DJ Stout depicts the company as a collection of chairs, offering a “seat at the table” for designers for 40 years.

The posters are presented in a special newspaper produced by Newspaper Club that was given away as a gift at our recent 40th anniversary party in London. The anniversary has also been commemorated in “The Forty Story,” the short film created by Naresh Ramchandani.

Here’s to 40 more!

The Forty Story

Pentagram was founded on June 12, 1972, and turns 40 this year. To celebrate the occasion we’ve created a short film that tells the story of a boy born on the day Pentagram opened and how his life has been tracked (and kerned) by four decades of Pentagram design.

Written by Naresh Ramchandani and Tom Edmonds
Directed by Christian Carlsson
Additional animation by Simone Nunziato
Voiceover by Daniel Lapaine
Sound design by Iain Grant and Wam London
Music by Graeme Miller
Titles by John Rushworth

Design by Pentagram