Interesting designers at Pentagram

This week’s Though of the Week is about Pentagram, the world’s biggest design agency. I took a look at the partners and found a few interesting people and fascinating projects that they have recently worked on.

Natasha Jen

Natasha Jen is a designer born in Taiwan. She works on many different kind of projects and is known for her cross media approach. I looked at a few of her recent projects listed on Pentagram website. Many of them were brand identity projects which I am not that interested in. However, there was at least one very interesting infographics/motion graphics/environmental design project called Border City.

Border City

Border City is an architectural installation using infographics and motion design. It proposes building a borderless city between Mexico and the USA. It is an interesting theme after all the Donald Trump statements about building a wall between the two countries.

The installation is designed around a hexagon shaped design. The music that is used in the installation brings to mind a science documentary, which creates a calm but intriguing atmosphere. I bet it would be amazing to stand in the middle of the big room while all those moving graphics and projected on the walls around you. You can see the video on Penthram’s website, (link under the images below).

Links: Natasha Jen, Border City

Michael Bierut

Michael Bierut is an American designer who also works on a lot of  brand identity projects, by the looks of it. On Pentagram’s website I also read that he had designed and co-edited the monograph Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist. That was an interesting fact about him because in January I made a mini-monograph about Kalman in Studio Impression. My tutor told me about the book and how it would be a great source for my project, but I couldn’t find it in the uni library, which was a shame. (See my mini-monograph project here.)

A video about logos

I also found this great video (below) on which Bierut talks about different types of logos. They are divided into 4 sections and the last one called logo system was something I hadn’t heard about before. I thought the video was really good and clear, and I learned things I didn’t know before.

Playwrights Horizons

Playwrights Horizons is an interesting logo design project that Bierut has been involved in recently. Playwrights is a theatre in New York whose mission is to elevate new America playwrights. This project created an identity for them where the name is written by the playwrights themselves by hand. The handwritten logos will be used with the writers production and also “cycled at random on business cards, signage, advertisements, social media, and other print and digital materials”. This is an interesting idea which connects to the logo system section of the logo video above. I think the handwritten logos that change with each production also add a personal touch to the identity.

The other reason why I found the project interesting is because it is the same concept that my team used in our Anthology re-design cover in Studio Impression. (See the cover concept here.)

Picture from The New York Times’ article They Write Plays for a Living. But How’s Their Handwriting?

Links: Michael Bierut, Playwrights HorizonsThey Write Plays for a Living. But How’s Their Handwriting?

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