This year Pentagram, one of the world’s most far-reaching design firms, turns 40. This past Friday they hosted a red and rockin’ party in Times Square to fully embrace their 40 years. My wife and I were lucky enough to attend the event which brought all of the existing Pentagram partners plus lots from the past – and about 1,000 of their friends and party crashers. There are already a few tributes floating around the interwebs that showcase Pentagram’s impact on the world, and in honor of the 40 year anniversary I wanted to make a special post on the many ways that Pentagram has influenced and participated in magazine design over the past 40 years, with big name publications alongside smaller (but no less influential) titles.
The Atlantic // Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Luke Hayman redesign the 150+ year old The Atlantic in 2008 to uncover what Bierut calls “the right visual analogue for a distinctive editorial voice.”
TIME // Pentagram’s Luke Hayman orchestrates a major redesign of Time Magazine in 2007 bringing the publication fully into the 21st Century. Pentagram is also involved in launching the “Frames” project for Time Magazine a few years later.
2wice // Pentagram partner Abbott Miller serves as co-editor and designer of 2wice – a landmark publication that focuses on performance arts. 2wice also recently moved to a nifty digital format on the ipad.
RADAR // Pentagram Partner Luke Hayman leads the redesign of Radarmagazine that launches with the July/August issue in 2008, sadly just a few months before the magazine is shuttered.
New York Magazine // Pentagram Partner Luke Hayward also directs the redesign of New York Magazine in 2006 and wins Magazine of the Year at the Society of Publication Designers’42nd Annual Awards for the iconic overhaul.
ARCHITECT // Pentagram partner Abbott Miller and his team design Architect Magazine when it launches in 2006. The highly accessible format has helped the magazine remain a visible and informative publication on the profession of architecture ever since.
TRAVEL + LEISURE // One of the world’s top travel magazines, Travel + Leisure reaches out to Luke Hayward and his team for a design overhaul earlier this year. Hayward previously served as Creative Director at the publication, so the collaboration came with ease.
Looking at the breadth of Pentagram’s history – and how their work has shaped entire industries (magazines and far beyond), often with surprisingly simple, clean and timeless designs serves as a refreshing reminder that design can and should be made to last. Thank you to Pentagram for the amazing party and here is looking at 40 more years of design excellence!
Over the past year or more I have heard and read so much about Paradis, the brainchild of French art director Thomas Lenthal, but for some reason or another I never got about to ordering a copy – it remained in the back of my mind until I stumbled across this copy a few weeks ago and could no longer resist. For whatever reason – maybe the amount of references I had read, I had a relatively defined image in my mind of what the volume would contain, but the contents were actually quite different than I initially anticipated.
Launched in 2006, the latest issue of Paradis is 400-pages thick and has been nearly two years in the making. This issue includes lengthy features from cultural heavy-weights such as Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, Massimo Vignelli, Juergen Teller and Alain de Botton.
A shining gem in the issue is a piece on the furniture collection of Dennis Freedman, sprawling over 20 spreads and packed with a dense landscape of one-off furniture pieces and artwork. The photographs relate well to the contents of the whole Paradis issue — an assortment of mysteries and beauties, from famous to unknown.
The two features on Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman border on dry, but a lengthy interview with a personal hero of mine, Massimo Vignelli, (interviewed by my amazing wife here) is a goldmine.
Paradis is worth a read – and I will definitely revisit it in the future (hopefully it doesn’t take 2 years for the next issue!). The features are the real drivers of the magazine, and there is lots to be said for curating such a high caliber team for a single issue. In a market awash with magazines overflowing with content, Paradis is a breath of fresh air due to its relative “slowness”. Spending time with Paradis is more akin to meandering through a quiet museum than flicking through a periodical.