As much as New York is a city of walkers, it’s also a city of climbers. Living in an almost completely manmade landscape of buildings, towers and subways, New Yorkers probably spend more time on stairs than the inhabitants of any other American city. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have created a new graphic installation for a stairwell at the Museum of the City of New York that pays tribute to the city, its people and their many ups and downs.
The graphics are part of the signage program we’ve developed for the ongoing renovation of the museum by Ennead Architects. The new installation transforms Stairwell B, a secondary staircase at the back of the museum, into a destination on par with the historic curving stairs that are the centerpiece of the museum lobby. Conceived as an interior tower of words and pictures, nearly every inch of wall space in Stairwell B has been filled with historic quotations about and photographs of New York.
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Michael Bierut’s ongoing series of posters for the Yale School of Architecture follow simple design parameters: one standard size, black and white, and all type, in literally hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998. Designed with Jessica Svendsen, the new poster announcing the school’s spring 2014 lectures and exhibitions features its own custom typography, rendered as a single, continuous strip of “tape” that twists and folds in on itself to form dimensional lettering. The school’s circular “Y” emblem has also been configured from a folded shape.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jessica Svendsen, designer.
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.
Quick Link: How the Guggenheim Got Its Visual Identity
The Brooklyn Nets returned to the Barclays Center this weekend for their first home games of the 2013-2014 season. In the short year since the 18,000-seat arena opened, it has become the top-selling venue in the US (and number two in the world) and a symbol of the resurgent borough. In addition to being the home of the Nets, Barclays is now home to the NHL New York Islanders, and has hosted concerts by artists like the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, and Paul McCartney and events like 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The arena has been honored with the Building Brooklyn Award for Economic Development from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, named Architizer’s Building of the Year and given the AIA New York State Award of Merit, and this week the Municipal Arts Society will recognize it as a “Neighborhood Catalyst” in their 2013 MASterworks Awards.
The distinctive design of the Barclays Center has played a major role in its appeal. The iconic architecture of the building, designed by SHoP Architects and Ellerbe Becket (now part of AECOM), has become an instant landmark at the crossroads of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and team have designed a program of signage, wayfinding and environmental graphics for the arena that reflect its one-of-a-kind character. Working closely with the architects and the arena developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, Bierut and his designers have created graphics that are seamlessly integrated with the interior architecture and convey a tough, friendly spirit, a lot like Brooklyn itself.
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To celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, the National Theatre in London invited five internationally renowned graphic designers to each create a poster that represents one of the NT’s five decades. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed a poster that features custom typography inspired by the NT’s original home at the Old Vic. Other participating designers include David Carson, Michael Craig-Martin, Graphic Thought Facility and Jamie Reid. Each of the 20″ x 30″ (508mm x 762mm) signed prints has been published in a limited edition of 200 and is available for purchase at “Shopping and E*ting,” a special pop-up shop at the NT’s home on the South Bank, as well as online. Scher’s design is also available as a greeting card and tote bag. The pop-up launches today and remains open through 12 January.
Project Team: Paula Scher, partner-in-charge and designer; Jeff Close, designer.
Over the past year the lobby of the Public Theater has been transformed into one of New York’s most vibrant and welcoming spaces for theatergoers. As part of a major renovation by Ennead Architects, Pentagram’s Paula Scher has created a program of environmental graphics for the space that integrates her iconic identity for the Public into the architecture of the theater itself.
The renovation opened last fall, but the graphics program was initially incomplete as elements have been gradualy installed throughout the season. The major work on the lobby is now complete, and Scher and her team continue to put finishing touches on other parts of the project.
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A new banner floats over the hazy days of summer at Pentagram’s New York studio, continuing the long-running tradition of typographic flags on our façade at 204 Fifth Avenue. Designed by Michael Bierut and team, this season’s model squeezes our name into a 6 ft by 12.5 ft field, with the custom lettering stretched long and tall on one side, wide and stacked on the other.
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The 2013 Luminato Festival opened in Toronto this past weekend for the start of a 10-day celebration of music, theater, dance, visual arts, literature and film. Launched in 2007, Luminato has grown into one of the largest arts festivals in North America; in its short six years, the event has commissioned 66 new works of art and featured 7,500 artists from 40 countries, highlighting Toronto as a cultural capital. Luminaries scheduled to appear at this year’s festival include the musicians Joni Mitchell and Laurie Anderson, performance artist Marina Abramovic, choreographer Mark Morris, architects Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, and filmmaker Atom Egoyan, among many others.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Hamish Smyth have designed a colorful new identity for Luminato that captures the vibrancy of the festival and its programming. The designers worked closely with Luminato Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt, CEO Janice Price, and Mary Ann Farrell, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, on the project. To implement the identity, Pentagram collaborated with a group of Toronto-based creative partners that included Cosmic Design, who produced all the final artwork for advertising, brochures and other promotions, and Lunch, who designed and built the new Luminato website.
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Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed her 19th season campaign for Shakespeare in the Park. After almost two decades, we’re allowed to make a few mistakes. Introducing The Comedy of
srorrE Errors and evoL Love’s Labour Lost.
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