PENTAGRAM (DESIGN STUDIO)
Designers Alan Fletcher, Theo Crosby, Colin Forbes, Kenneth Grange and Mervyn Kurlandsky founded the Pentagram design studio in 1972. Located in a converted dairy depot in West London, England, they now have offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Austin, and Berlin. The company is unique in that they have no CEO or CFO or board of directors; each design partner has ownership and control over the destiny of the organization. Pentagram has a firm reputation in the fields of architecture, art, packaging, print, graphics, identity design, interior and much more. Their client list includes the Art Institute of Chicago, Saturday Night Live, United Airlines, Harley Davidson, Microsoft, and Nissan. That is just a few of the thousands of clients that Pentagram has done business with over the past 40 years. The 19 current partners, each autonomously managing a design team, are able to work with clients from any one of their five offices. With so many partners bringing their own unique talents to the table, and each partner leading a team of graphic designers, Pentagram is able to offer their clients a full range of design capabilities. It would be difficult to specify the firm’s design style, as it varies with each design team and the need of the clients. It is current, modern, futuristic, retro and varied. One of their latest projects was for Global Design Forum. The design was created by partner Domenic Lippa and seems to be just a big, red, capital G that has been broken into four sections. The typographical design is simplistic, yet very clever. The image is a solid red with no special treatments, based on a very general typeface, on a plain white background. Upon closer inspection, two of the sections appear to be speech marks, which go along with the event’s “focus of discussion and debate” (Lippa). The design has been integrated into the event’s program layout and green and red speech marks were used as “yes” and “no” indicators during forum discussions. From Pentagram’s Austin office, partner DJ Stout and lead designer Barrett Fry designed a new athletic identity for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, otherwise known as FIT. “FIT is an internationally recognized college known for its exceptional curriculum in art, design, communications, business, and fashion, of course, but not for its sports teams” (Stout). Over the years FIT has developed a topnotch athletic program. The school fields 13 intercollegiate teams in such sports as volleyball, soccer, tennis, track and field, half-marathon, cross country, swimming and table tennis, plus a dance company. Five of its teams have finished in the Top 10 nationally. The college also has two individual national champions - one in high jump and another in women’s tennis. FIT athletes’ expertise was also recognized when the men’s swimming team and the women’s track and field team were named 2012 National Academic Teams of the year. But the FIT Tigers lacked a well-designed identity. What they had been using resembled logos using clip-art tigers and generic typefaces. Michael Bierut of Pentagram’s New York office, who had worked with FIT on several other projects over the years, was called to do the school’s athletic identity. Bierut insisted on having help from Dj Stout and his design team because of their extensive experience in creating identities for collegiate institutions. The resulting design was meant to complement FIT’s current academic logo (FIT centered in a solid circle), which was designed by Bierut in 2001. The athletic identity is a leaping tiger that appears suspended above the FIT logo. The tiger is made up of orange stripes that resemble ‘s’ shapes that taper at both ends with negative space between the stripes. This design is also very simplistic as it is just a series of flat, colored shapes. The tiger’s head is also being used as a smaller icon. The different athletic teams are identified in all caps below the FIT...
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