eg Magazine 02

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NO. 02, 2012

NO. 02, 2012



Xlab 2012: Tech in Context November 7 & 8, 2012 Austin, Texas, USA Technology Innovation Design Presenting Sponsor: Daktronics


Go to to learn more.



Society for Environmental Graphic Design The global community of people working at the intersection of communication design and the built environment

SEGD BoarD of DirEctorS President Senior Vice President Vice President Treasurer

Amy Lukas, Infinite Scale, Salt Lake City Jill Ayers, Design360, New York Edwin Hofmann, Limited Brands, New York Gary Stemler, Archetype, Eagan, Minn.

Patrick Angelel, CREO Industrial Arts, Everett, Wash. Sander Baumann, designworkplan, Amsterdam Steve Bayer, Daktronics, Brookings, S.D. Jennifer Bressler, Hunt Design, Pasadena, Calif. Teresa Cox, APCO Graphics, Atlanta Peter Dixon, Prophet, New York Oscar FernĂĄndez (Ex Officio), University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Moira Gemmill (Ex Officio), V&A Museum, London Sue Gould, Lebowitz | Gould | Design, New York Lonny Israel, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco Cybelle Jones, Gallagher & Associates, Silver Spring, Md. John Lutz, Selbert Perkins Design, Chicago Wayne McCutcheon (Past President), Entro Communications, Toronto Dan Moalli, Obscura Digital, San Francisco Steven Stamper (Ex Officio), fd2s, Austin, Texas Tucker Trotter, Dimensional Innovations, Overland Park, Kan. Mark VanderKlipp, Corbin Design, Traverse City, Mich. Julie Vogel, Kate Keating Associates, San Francisco Leslie Wolke, Leslie Wolke Consulting, Austin, Texas Alexandra Wood, Holmes Wood, London Joe Zenas, Thinkwell, Burbank, Calif.

SEGD cHaPtEr cHairS

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Lynne Bernhardt, Stephen Carlin,


Michele Phelan, David Spatara,

Brisbane, Australia

Jack Bryce,

Charlotte, NC

Kevin Kern, Scott Muller,


Maggie Allen, Adam Cook,


Jeff Waggoner,


Cathy Fromet,


Heather Chandler,


George Lim, Jon Mischke,


Lucy Richards,


Duane Farthing,

Kansas City

Rick Smith,


Adam Halverson,


Michael Clarizio,

New York

Rachel Einsidler, Anthony Ferrara, Anna Sharp,

Norman, Oklahoma

Justin Molloy,


John Bosio, Barbara Schwarzenbach,

San Francisco

Sarah Katsikas, Lauren Kelly,


Cynthia Hall,


Andrew Kuzyk,


Danielle Lindsay-Chung, Daniela Pilossof,

Publisher SEGD Services Corp. Editor in Chief Pat Matson Knapp Executive Editor Ann Makowski Founding Editor Leslie Gallery Dilworth Design Holmes Wood, London Contributors Wayne William Creative, Patrick Gallagher, David Gibson, Hal Kantner, Richard Poulin, Jocelyn Short Executive and Editorial Offices 1000 Vermont Ave., NW Suite 400 Washington, D.C. 20005 202.638.5555 Advertising Sales Sara Naegelin 512.524.2596 Editorial, Subscriptions, Reprints, Back Issues 202.638.5555 eg magazine is the international journal of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. Opinions expressed editorially and by contributors are not necessarily those of SEGD. Advertisements appearing in eg magazine do not constitute or imply endorsement by SEGD or eg magazine. Material in this magazine is copyrighted. Photocopying for academic purposes is permissible, with appropriate credit. eg magazine is published four times a year by SEGD Services Corp. Periodical postage paid at York, Penn., USA, and additional mailing offices. Subscriptions: US $250/year, International $300/year. Send US funds to eg magazine, 1000 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. To charge your order, call 202.638.5555. Postmaster: Send address changes to eg magazine, 1000 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. © 2012 eg magazine SSN: 1551-4595

Just-right Design For years I’ve been searching for just the right word to describe the level of design effectiveness epitomized in the SEGD Global Design Awards. It’s difficult to assign objective criteria to the very subjective landscape of design effectiveness. Just ask our multi-disciplinary juries, who work diligently for two days sifting through hundreds of projects in search of that indefinable quality of a winning design. Like Goldilocks, our juries are looking for design that’s not too big (in its own way or overpowering) and not too small (falling short of the impact it could have on the space it exists to support). Not too hot (too trendy or of-the-moment) or too cold (lacking in an essential vitality). I could continue the fairytale metaphor, but you get my meaning. This issue presents a beautiful collection of—if you will excuse my imprecise language—“just-right” design honored in the 2012 SEGD Global Design Awards. You’ll enjoy projects diverse not only in their physical application—Pentagram’s centennial exhibition for The New York Public Library and an outdoor sculpture trail in Tasmania—but in their scale and budget—a sophisticated multi-media exhibition for IBM and a modest donor recognition program for a Beirut art school. As diverse as they are, they all share two crucial qualities: they are all founded on strong and sound ideas and they are all “just-right” in their application of those ideas. You’ll find the combination inspiring. You’ll also be inspired by our 2012 SEGD Fellow, Patrick Gallagher, who has blazed his own highly successful path in exhibition and museum planning and design and, along the way, enriched the SEGD community and the practice of EGD. And finally, SEGD Fellow Richard Poulin’s book on the history of EGD has been in the works for close to a decade, and in this issue we include an excerpt from the long-awaited book in advance of its November 2012 publication by Rockport.

NO. 02, 2012




On the cover: For the exhibition Infinite Variety, Thinc Design choreographed a tornado of red and white quilts, using them as both object and environment. Photo: Thinc Design Story, page 45

Pat Matson Knapp Editor in Chief

eg magazine — 3


1 UP FRONT ( 10—11 )


Tacoma’s reconciliation memorial and Nike Camp Victory ( 12—13 )


Naked City, Stop Think Go Do, and Color Management ( 14—15 )

Out There

DigiGlass, Vivid, and CoroGreen recycled corrugated sheet

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( 22—37 )

Honor awards

A library centennial, a 9/11 memorial, and an urban clubhouse ( 42—51 )

Merit awards

Infinite quilts, a Tasmanian sculpture trail, and IBM’s Think exhibit ( 52—53 )

Jury awards

( 58—63 )

2012 SEGD Fellow Patrick Gallagher’s path to success ( 64—71 )

The Roots of EGD Richard Poulin’s long-awaited history book ( 74—75 )


The eloquent sketchings of Hal Kantner ( 76 )

Up Close

“Natural Navigator” Tristan Gooley

Sweet rewards and National Parks wayfinding

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Our sincere thanks to these companies for their support of eg magazine.

Lead Sponsors Gallagher & Associates Infinite Scale Pentagram Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Patrons C&G Partners ex;it Kate Keating Associates

Sponsors APCO Graphics Cloud Gehshan Associates Hunt Design

For information about sponsorship, contact



Neiman & Company

3A Composites

Design and Production

Nova Polymers

AD/S Companies

Digico Imaging

Precision Signs

AkzoNobel Coatings

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APCO Graphics


Resource Integrated

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General Glass International



General LED


ASI Signage


Sunrise Systems

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Icon Identity Solutions

Systeme Huntingdon



Traxon Technologies

Big Apple Visual Group


TFN Architectural Signage

Bitro Group


Vista System

Colite International

Matthews International

Visual Graphic Systems

Color-Ad Inc.

Matthews Paint

Weidner Architectural

CREO Industrial Arts

Mitsubishi Plastics Composite / Alpolic

Winsor Fireform


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UP FRONT ( 10—11 )


Tacoma’s reconciliation memorial and Nike Camp Victory ( 12—13 )


Naked City, Stop Think Go Do, and Color Management ( 14—15)

Out There

DigiGlass, Vivid, and CoroGreen recycled corrugated sheet

FOUND 10 — eg magazine

The Stones Remember

In 1885, the city of Tacoma, Wash., forcibly expelled its Chinese community. Journey to Reconciliation, located in the city’s new Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park, is a memorial that tells the story of the 700 Chinese immigrants and promotes healing and cultural understanding. An interpretive rock formation called “Path of Expulsion” symbolizes the event and is part of an interpretive signage program designed by Tangram Design (Denver). Tall, dark basalt pillars represent the power and forcefulness of the Tacoma citizens who forced the Chinese from their homes. Smaller granite rocks represent the immigrants as they were marched out of town. Other interpretive elements are integrated within the natural landscape: porcelain enamel panels that recall 1885 newspaper pages are mounted on rocks, as though strewn there by the wind. Photos: Tangram Design. Garden design: Joe Wai. Landscape architects: J.A. Brennan Associates. Stone masonry: Peter Andrusko/Written in Stone Productions

Nike Camp Victory was a 10-day exhibition space showcasing Nike innovation during the U.S. Olympic Trials track and field competition held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field. Skylab Architecture (Portland, Ore.) conceived a marriage of sculptural forms and digital technology. Three triangular pavilions sheathed in lightweight, translucent poly membrane visualize the tectonics of speed. Three 1,400-square-foot pavilions were digital expressions of Nike technology. “Speed Tunnel” showcased track suit technology in real time and on athletes, displayed on an LED-screened wall. Another pavilion used gaming technology, plotting runners on a map and recording running output on treadmills. Intersecting track lanes connected the pavilions and digital media provided an immersive thread throughout the site. Photos: Boone Speed. Graphic design: Big Giant. Digital experience design: Hush Digital. Structural engineer: FTLStudio


Victory in Motion

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Signs of The Naked City By David Gibson

The Naked City Universal Studios, 1948 Young boys dive off a pier into the East River on a hot summer day. A delivery man travels the early morning streets with his horse-drawn milk wagon. Elevated subway trains rumble overhead above the avenues of Manhattan. On the streets of the Lower East Side, mothers push babies in giant perambulators, while an organ grinder busks for pennies. These are all scenes from The Naked City, the 1948 black-and-white film noir shot on location in postwar New York. Directed by blacklisted Hollywood director Jules Dassin with a script by Albert Maltz and Malvin Wald, The Naked City was most famous for its final words: “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” The driving force behind the movie was syndicated columnist-turned-screenwriter and producer Mark Hellinger. New York born and bred, he made the texture and life of the city a central element of the film. He was inspired in part by The Naked City, a book of candid images of New York’s underbelly created by the photojournalist Arthur Felig, better known as Weegee. In many respects, the film is a fairly standard whodunit about the murder of beautiful young Jean Dexter, who gets mixed up with a bad lot. For several days Jean’s murder dominates the front page news and, as the narrator says, “becomes the marmalade on 10,000 pieces of toast.” Hellinger’s voice moves this docudrama along and helps set the late ‘40s mood of the film.

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But for me, the New York City images are the true revelation. With its rich mine of New York period streetscapes, the movie is a delight for any environmental graphic designer with the slightest interest in history. It is also a dream for lovers of period typography. Police rookie Joe Halloran and his buddies in the Homicide unit criss-cross the city looking for clues to the murder. In the process, we see subway and traffic signs, storefronts, a radio studio, linotype machines at the newspaper plant, a perfect Madison Avenue period pharmacy, a beauty parlor that looks like Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, and apartments at all points on the economic scale. In one of the great graphic cinematic devices that abound in the movie, operators at the Police Department’s Telegraph Bureau connect the Hospital with the Medical Examiner with the Tech Research Lab with the Homicide unit as the murder investigation is unfolding. Each new location is labeled on a telephone switchboard as the operators plug in one call after another. Like so much of the movie, signs and typographic messages help set the scene. Seeing all of these details and textures in the film reminds me of the constant layering and evolution of the urban streetscape. Some things like bridges and buildings and streets are relatively fixed. Other elements change dramatically from decade to decade—cars, buses, taxis, and delivery vehicles for example. Some of us environmental graphic designers are responsible for the details of the urban landscape, the signs and information that guide and direct people. Seeing how the subways and buses are signed and marked, what a highway sign looks like, and catching a glimpse of a lowly one-way sign is fascinating. To modern eyes, these signs and markings are antiques, collectibles to hang on a wall. In another era, not so long ago, they were part of the mechanics of the city. David Gibson is a managing partner of Two Twelve (New York) and author of The Wayfinding Handbook.

“...a dream for lovers of period typography.”

Ideas for a book, website, exhibit, or space review? Contact

A Magazine The Akzo Nobel Magazine Akzo Nobel, 2012 The sad truth is that most corporate magazines can seem ... well, very corporate. Not so for A Magazine, published out of Amsterdam by a staff led by Editor-in-Chief David Lichtneker, with design and art direction by Claire Jean Engelmann. The award-winning A manages to light on a dizzying range of Big Ideas: climate change and reforestation, space tourism, the physics of super-hero technology, women’s rights, and the explosive growth of cities, to name a few. A heavy load, but balanced by sophisticated design, stunning photography, and color so sumptuous you want to lick the pages.

Stop Think Go Do: How Typography & Graphic Design Influence Behavior By Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic Rockport, 2012 Use your power for good and not evil. Heller and Ilic’s book directs a playful but measured look at graphic interventions that use type, color, form, and composition to manipulate the conscious and the unconscious. Sections focus on design that informs, plays, entertains, educates, advocates, cautions, expresses, and transforms. Environmental graphics play a major role in what is essentially a fun picture book.

Culturematic: How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab… Will Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas By Grant McCracken Harvard Business Review Press, 2012

Taken by Surprise: Cutting-Edge Collaborations Between Designers, Artists and Brands Gestalten, 2012

Color Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers By John Drew and Sarah Meyer Allworth Press, 2012

Cultural anthropologist “The most important thing in the collaboraGrant McCracken— tion between brand and a keynote speaker at artists is to find the right the 2012 SEGD Conferpartner, someone you ence in New York—is a share the same general fascinating storyteller ideas with. Artists never with a knack for connecting the cultural dots. want to be treated as service providers and In Culturematic, brands need to be able he explains how to to trust that the artist’s harness the seemingly approach fits their idea unconnected but of themselves.” (Ralf important events, facts, Schmerberg, Berlinand phenomenon that based artist) test the world, discover This book is a meaning, and unleash trove of inspiring value. Explaining collaborations including Mad Men or ROFLCon Marian Bantje’s boat Memes, McCracken designs for Wallpaper is contagiously excited and Gaga’s Workshop at about culture and Barneys New York, with current events, and fashion designer Nicola proves the trope that Formichetti and artists “There is no such thing as information overload, at Assume Vivid Astro Focus (avaf ). just bad filters.”

Graphic design professors John Drew and Sarah Meyer have created a color primer for any designer working in environmental, interactive, web-based, or print design. Color Management covers color theory and systems, mixing, removal, pigments, inks, papers, and printing. Drew and Meyer also devote a chapter to the behavioral effects of color, including micro and macro perception and responses.

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Innovative materials, products & technology

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Kaleidoscope General Glass International has introduced the Kaleidoscope Collection, seven fractal-inspired architectural glass patterns produced using Alice® direct-to-glass printing technology. Designed for GGI by product designer Jeremy Noonan, the collection includes six scale- and color-customizable colorways per pattern, providing flexibility for a wide range of interior and exterior applications. The collection is printed on low-iron and low-iron satin-etched glass in sizes up to 84- by 168-inches and thicknesses from 5/32 to 3/4 inch.


DigiGlass DigiGlass, named Best Product at the 2011 SEGD Conference in Montreal, is an ultra-thin, “see-through” RGB LED display that mounts on the interior surface of a window facing outward. It has full digital capability while offering 80% “see-through” visibility from the inside and outside. Tiny integrated LED modules (8mm thick) are almost invisible from outside the building. The compact and lightweight design weighs only 2.5 pounds per square foot, minimizing stress on glass walls. Modules are mounted to the glass using UV curing.


Vivid Image-Intense Signage is a system of 150 individual sign templates in a range of vertical and horizontal sizes, in sign types ranging from directional to safety and building/ADA. Users can select and apply colors, prints, patterns, typography, pictograms, and photographic images in Takeform’s Design Center or choose a pre-configured sign family.

CoroGreen™ is a recyclable, reusable corrugated plastic sheet for indoor and outdoor signage. lt contains the highest level of postconsumer/post-industrial content in the industry, according to Coroplast, and qualifies for U.S. Green Building Council LEED credit. The Corona-treated, white printable surfaces with a black core are opaque, allowing low light transmission. CoroGreen is offered in stock sheet sizes and a wide range of gauges, including 4, 6, 8, and 10mm. Custom surface colors and sheet sizes are also available.


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2012 SEGD Global DESIGN aWaRDS ( 22—37 )

Honor awards

A library centennial, a 9/11 memorial, and an urban clubhouse ( 42—51 )

Merit awards

Infinite quilts, a Tasmanian sculpture trail, and IBM’s Think exhibit ( 52—53 )

Jury awards

Sweet rewards and National Parks wayfinding

The 2012 SEGD Global Design Awards jury at work. The international jury included Edwin L. Hofmann (chair), Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret; Katie Bevin, Frost Design; Lucy Holmes, Holmes Wood; Alan Jacobson, ex;it; Rick Lincicome, AECOM; Kyle Reath, MSA Planning + Design; Luke Snider, Procter & Gamble Baby Care; and Selma Thomas, Watertown Productions.

BIG IDEAS The 2012 SEGD Global Design Awards show strong ideas win over big budgets or high-tech gadgetry.

Successful environmental graphic design doesn’t “The winning projects represent a wide diversity require huge budgets, large audiences, or even the of typologies and a substantial integration of latest in technology. Winning projects in the 2012 technology—and yet they all share a timelessness SEGD Global Design Awards show that strong ideas, that’s not invaded by the latest high-tech gadgetry,” well executed, can dramatically impact the built says Edwin L. Hofmann, Associate Vice President environment and how people experience it. of Prototype Design for Limited Brands/Victoria’s The 18 winners in the 2012 SEGD Global Secret and Chair of the 2012 SEGD Global Design Design Awards range from a low-tech, low-budget Awards jury. “What they all have in common is the donor wall at an art school in Beirut to a multisolid foundation of strong concepts, well executed million dollar media installation at New York’s regardless of budget or medium.” Lincoln Center and signage along the High Line, A video of the winning projects, as well as New York’s park-in-the-sky. They also include additional photos, descriptions, team credits, an exhibition of historic quilts, a sculpture trail in and jury comments, is available at the SEGD Design Tasmania, wayfinding for the U.S. National Mall Awards archive. in Washington, D.C., and a range of corporate, civic, exhibition environments. global-design-awards.html

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Reflex Exhibition Assembleia da República, Lisbon P-06 Atelier

P-06’s exhibit celebrating the Portuguese Constitution of 1911 consisted of a 3- by 14m volume that mirrored the ornate neoclassic architecture of the parliament building.


P-06 creates a reflective exhibition celebrating the centennial of the Portuguese constitution of 1911. By Pat Matson Knapp

Budget €40,000 Project Area 260m2 Open Date July 2011

hundred years ONE after the Portuguese Constitution of 1911 inaugurated the

country’s first republican government, the Portuguese Assembly wanted to celebrate its impact and remind visitors that the Constitution is more than just a piece of paper. P-06 Atelier (Lisbon) was tasked with creating an exhibition in its honor in the antechamber to the Assembly of the Republic, housed in a 400-year-old neoclassical palace. P-06’s solution was a literal reflection on the constitution and

Design Team Nuno Gusmão design director, Giuseppe Greco, Joana Proserpio designers Photos João Morgado

its storied environment. It consists of a single 3- by 14-meter mirrored volume located in the center of the ornately decorated room. It seems to disappear in the space while at the same time creating a series of varying and unexpected perspectives. The mirrored side featured the exhibition title and a single object: the original 1911 Constitution. On the opposite side, interpretive graphics and a generous lightbox narrated the story behind the Constitution in a graphic timeline emulating the newspapers of the time.

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The mirrored volume reflects the building’s ornate architecture.

“This is brilliant. It takes a while to even realize what has happened in this space, it is so beautiful. This is such a mature response to historical architectural intervention that I now find it difficult to imagine a better way to do it.” Jury comment P-06 placed the mirrored display in the central axis of the historical antechamber, heightening its dramatic impact.

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Simple artifact cases were embedded in the exhibition volume.

The parliament building’s ornate Fabrication was simple, consisting of architecture—with its grand vaulted ceilings a metal framework skinned on one side and intricate carvings—called for a minimal with mirrored-glass panels and on the other solution with high impact, says Nuno Gusmão, with acrylic panels covered in vinyl graphics. P-06 design director. “The mirror is kind of The installation was mounted over the a ‘non-existing’ solution, since it minimizes weekend to avoid disrupting the flow of the surroundings,” he explains. “Above all, government employees and visitors through the room is symmetrical and the mirror was the space during the workweek. placed in its central axis, which enhanced the The SEGD Global Design Awards jury effect even more.” commented on the exhibition’s clever The P-06 team worked closely with the integration with the ornate architecture: curator, Professor Jorge Miranda, to select “When faced with the reality of such a rich, artifacts that would bring the Constitution’s visually stimulating environment, it’s story to life without overwhelming the visitor. refreshing to see a graphic treatment that does “The challenge was to have the correct amount not try to compete, but actually enriches the and balance between text, images, drawings, space. It’s amazing to see an interpretive piece and artifacts,” says Gusmão. “The information of this relative scale virtually disappear in had to be reduced to be functional.” the room—magical.”

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Celebrating 100 Years

Budget $280,000 (fabrication)

New York Public Library

Project Area 7,000 sq. ft.

Pentagram Design

Celebrating 100 Years honored the library’s historic architecture with a contemporary flair, embedding LED-illuminated “portals” into iconic archways.


Pentagram’s exhibition for the New York Public Library celebrates a special birthday for the landmark building it calls home. By Pat Matson Knapp

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Open Date May 2011 Design Team Michael Gericke art director/ designer, Don Bilodeau, Jed Skillins, Matt McInerney designers, Gillian DeSousa project manager

Fabrication Spaeth Design primary fabricator, P.E. Black Studios silk screen graphics Consultants Thomas Mellins curator Photos Peter Mauss/Esto

Traditional artifact displays were juxtaposed with digital elements, including an animated projection wall featuring 800 images from the library’s Digital Gallery.

New York Public Library may be better THE known for Patience and Fortitude, the regal marble lions guarding the entrance to its main branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, than it is for the 60 million artifacts it holds. So when it came time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the magnificent Beaux Arts Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the library charged Pentagram with creating a centennial exhibition that would celebrate the “People’s Palace” and the treasures it contains. For then-President and CEO Paul LeClerc, who led efforts to digitize the library’s holdings, it was important the exhibition not only pay homage to the beautiful building and its past, but also honor how the library is leading toward the future. “LeClerc saw the importance of libraries as significant public places, and he recognized that even though the library collections are now accessible online, people will never stop wanting to go there and experience the space and the materials directly,” says Pentagram Partner Michael Gericke, who headed the design team for the exhibition named Celebrating 100 Years.

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“How do you make a century-old, stuffy, symmetrical, old-world space young, fun, interesting, and beautiful? Give it to the team that made this amazing integration of old and new and watch as thousands stream through in awe.” Jury comment

MORE THAN BOOKS The library’s collections extend far beyond just books to include artifacts such as the final draft of George Washington’s farewell address, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley’s hair, Virginia Woolf’s walking stick, the first Xerox, and Beethoven’s handwritten score for the Archduke Trio. Curator Thomas Mellins chose 250 of the library’s most thoughtprovoking artifacts and worked with the Pentagram team to organize them for the exhibit. To highlight the sheer diversity of the collections, the team organized the content into four categories: Observation, including artifacts that document the natural world; Contemplation, focusing on objects that represent the search for meaning through reflection or spirituality; Creativity, including items from the library’s vast art collection; and Society, documenting political and social history. Within the library’s D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall, the sections flow into each other, inviting visitors to discover and make their own connections among the objects while exploring the library’s soaring ceilings and majestic archways. Artifacts are often juxtaposed to highlight the range of the collections: a letter from Christopher Columbus with an image from the Apollo 12 mission, or a drawing of a Palladian villa with an image of a New York apartment building. BRIDGING PAST AND FUTURE Balancing the focus on the library’s past and future was a key 28 — eg magazine

challenge, says Gericke. “Our job was to celebrate the objects and this amazing and iconic building, and at the same time, find a more contemporary and very welcoming way to illustrate the online archive and the fact that the library is embracing the future.” Gericke’s team struck the balance by engaging with the architecture and integrating digital elements. A 15- by 14-foot animated projection wall dramatically showcases 800 images from the library’s Digital Gallery. In the Wachenheim Gallery, exhibit content focuses on the library’s history, and a media wall comprised of tiled LCD displays showcases its collections alongside long glass display cases housing 100 books written or researched in the library. An iPad app allows visitors to learn about each of the books on display and browse the Digital Gallery. Back in the main exhibition hall, the Pentagram team also chose to leverage four dramatic marble archways, illuminating them with lightboxes that accentuate the architecture, serve as category headers for the exhibition, and visually encourage visitors to explore the exhibition. “We noticed that previous exhibitions in the space tended to overlook the architecture,” says Don Bilodeau, Pentagram Associate Partner. “We viewed the building itself as just as important an artifact as any object in the exhibit, and we knew it would be a huge missed opportunity not to use these beautiful portals as a functioning element.”

Because of the building’s landmark status, nothing was allowed to touch the walls or marble arches. So Pentagram designed upside-down-U-shaped lightboxes made of MDF with midnight blue acrylic faces, and recruited fabricator Spaeth Design (New York) for construction. “The tolerances were very tight and we wanted to avoid any seams, so that was challenging,” says David Spaeth, President. “But we were able to pull it off thanks to some very exacting drawings from Pentagram.” Text was cut out of vinyl applied to the acrylic, and letter-shaped LED lights were positioned about 6 inches behind the acrylic, creating a warm glow. MANY HAPPY RETURNS Pentagram also created a bold graphic identity for the exhibition, forming the number “100” from objects in the collection. The identity is featured on banners on the library’s façade, on freestanding displays in the landmarked Astor Hall entryway, and on huge silkscreened banners covering portions of the corridor between the exhibition space and Wachenheim Gallery. These banners feature an analog graphic version of a digital “100,” formed by the spines of books. For the 100-years-young library, the exhibition was an unqualified success: originally planned for nine months, it was extended to 14 and attracted more than 800,000 visitors, breaking the record for a temporary exhibition in New York.

Architecturally scaled vinyl banner graphics helped direct visitors from the main exhibition hall to the Wachenheim Gallery. The silkscreened banners featured an analog graphic version of the “100” identity.

Inside the library’s landmark entry, freestanding banners pointed the way to the exhibition hall. Pentagram’s identity formed the number “100” from objects in the library’s collections.

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Bookshelf Ashkal Alwan, Lebanese Association of Plastic Arts, Beirut PenguinCube SAL Inspired by the rawness and simplicity of the space, the PenguinCube team opted for a basic engraving technique and a mill finish on the “books” of varying sizes and woods.

Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace is a unique, THE scholarship-driven contemporary arts school and artist residency space that opened in Beirut in 2011. It provides a


PenguinCube’s donor wall for a non-profit art school shows that big ideas can be better than big budgets. By Jocelyn Short

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tuition-free program for 15 young artists and cultural practitioners to work for 11 months alongside a resident scholar. The initiative, including the design of the building, is entirely funded by donations from organizations and individuals. Giving proper thanks to those donors, and encouraging others to contribute, is important to keeping the school alive. “We didn’t have a space before, so we simply honored donors on our website and in our communications, in the order of the amount they gave,” recalls Amal Issa, assistant director of the school. “But since we were embarking on a big project that was going to require continuous fundraising, we wanted something that would encourage and invite support, without coming on too strong.” The donor element also needed to fit visually with the school’s new home, a former furniture factory in a heavily industrial Beirut suburb. PenguinCube SAL (Beirut) looked for a solution that would sync with the stark, unfinished look of the space. The concept of a bookshelf emerged from the idea that each of the donations is an important contribution to education and research. What better way to represent this than through one of the oldest and most grounded methods of providing education— the book? “We opted for wooden blocks, which are inexpensive to make and engrave, and require no maintenance,” recalls Mia Azar, PenguinCube Senior Art Director. “We also wanted something that would be usable for another five years, so wooden blocks of all permutations have already been cut and put in storage. Any time there’s a new donor, we just have to engrave and fill the name and it’s ready to go up.” To subtly indicate levels of giving, the team designed “books” of varying sizes and woods that are shelved in a simple system: one shelf per year, each shelf displaying the donations given that academic year. In addition to the size of the books, six different types of wood—from walnut and cherry to acajou and pine— were used to represent, in a subtle yet effective way, the different categories of donations. “It acknowledges our donors in a subtle but friendly way, without spelled-out categories, which can be tacky,” says Issa. “And the empty shelves are inviting, just waiting to be filled.”

Budget $2,200 Project Area 7- by 2m Open Date November 2011 Design Team Mia Azar art director, Josette Khalil creative director, Tammam Yamout project director

Fabrication Bassam Matta Est. wood sourcing, fabrication, and installation, Peter’s Brass lettering engraving and filling with ink Photo PenguinCube SAL

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High Line Signage Friends of the High Line, New York Pentagram Design

Budget $118,000 (Phase 1), $137,000 (Phase 2), $84,000 (Founders Wall) Project Area 2.33 km/7,644 ft. Open Date June 2009 (Phase 1), June 2011 (Phase 2) Design Team Paula Scher art director and designer, Andrew Freeman senior designer, Rion Byrd Gumus designer

Fabrication Denise J. Mayer Architectural Graphics resin installations, Design Communications Ltd. primary fabricator, Winsor Fireform porcelain enamel Consultants James Corner Field Operations landscape architecture, Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects, L’Observatoire International lighting, Buro Happold structural/MEP engineering Photos Peter Mauss/Esto


More than a decade after designing the High Line’s visual identity, Paula Scher conceives a seamless and appropriate solution for signage.

2000, when Pentagram Partner Paula Scher was first approached to design a logo for IN Friends of the High Line, she never thought the

park’s organizers could accomplish their dream of transforming 1.5 miles of abandoned railroad tracks into an urban oasis. It took 11 years for the project to come to fruition, but the elevated park that once seemed an improbability has become one of New York’s top tourist destinations, stimulating billions of dollars in development nearby. “It’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my work life,” Scher says. Scher’s design for the park’s signage system extended her initial instincts to respect both its industrial/railroad aesthetic and its present-day urban setting. “I wanted something that would look both contemporary and appropriate on the site,” she explains. Steel seemed an obvious choice, since signage would primarily be integrated into the existing railroad structure. And she selected Rockwell—a slab-serif common in the industrial railroad era—as the project typeface. The system includes 24 street-level porcelain enamel signs wrapped around the steel I-beams supporting the elevated tracks. These signs introduce the High Line and direct visitors up

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The signage system includes 24 street-level signs along the 20-block stretch of the High Line. They integrate the original High Line logo designed by Paula Scher in 2000, as well as maps and regulatory information.

The High Line is built on 1.5 miles of abandoned elevated railroad tracks running through Lower Manhattan.

stairwells to the park. On the High Line itself, a 7- by 13-foot Founders Wall recognizes key supporters and 27 anodized-aluminum wayfinding signs are integrated with custom handrails along the promenade. “The system is beautifully simple—and simple can be very complex,” says Lauren Vallier, project manager for Design Communications Ltd., the primary project fabricator. “The signs were designed to withstand New York City and to appear as though they had been there all along. Pulling that off required a lot of planning, field verification, and engineering.” For example, the street-level signs at the park’s access points were designed to match the conditions of the existing architectural structure, the I-beams supporting the tracks. “This required us to fieldverify the condition of every single support that would hold signage, and we did many, many color tests to make sure we got it right,” says Vallier. High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond says Friends of the High Line, which operates the park for the city of New York, is considering additions to the minimal signage system, particularly interpretive signs.

Pentagram integrated minimal wayfinding information into the custom handrails along the promenade.

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YOHO Midtown Clubhouse Sun Hung Kai Estate Agency Ltd., Hong Kong One Plus Partnership Ltd.

Project Area 37,200 sq. ft. Open Date November 2011 Design Team Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung design directors

The table tennis room features a graphic composition of inlaid wood planks.

Floor lobbies feature super-scaled level numbers that rise organically from ribbed wood and concrete-look wall treatments.

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Budget $97 million HKD

Consultants AGC Design Ltd. architect, Light & View Design (HK) Ltd. lighting consultant Photos Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung

Vinyl graphics of trees adorn the walls of the basketball court.

Urban + Park = Good LivinG one Plus Partnership’s environmental graphics create “green living” for residents of a Hong kong high-rise. By Jocelyn Short

Residents of YOHO THE Midtown, one of Hong Kong’s newest luxury high-rises,

love urban living but also yearn for a connection to nature—a rare experience in their city. Commissioned to design the interiors for the complex’s fourstory, 37,000-square-foot clubhouse/ recreation center, One Plus Partnership (Hong Kong) was committed to giving them what they wanted. Opened in 2010, YOHO Midtown provides all the luxury amenities you’d expect with multi-million-dollar price tags, including the recreation center complete with banquet rooms, a kitchen classroom with organic garden, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a 24-hour lounge, a reading lounge, a music room, and rooms devoted to basketball, table tennis, and other sports. The One Plus team was inspired by the concept of “urban+park,” and achieved a sophisticated hybrid of the two with urban-inspired textures and organic materials, forms, and a color scheme of gray and green. Environmental graphics are integrated with the architecture

to create distinctive spaces for each of the functional areas. Floor lobbies feature super-scaled level numbers that rise organically from ribbed wood and concrete-look wall treatments. Walls, floors, and ceilings in the band room are covered in custom carpeting designed to evoke contour maps of mountainous landscapes. On the ceiling of the multipurpose room, a massive city skyline dangles upside down, serving as placemaker and lighting element. Wayfinding was not a major issue, but the team designed you-are-here maps for visitors, including a map housed in a sculptural, rock-like element that blends with the urban+park theme. The nature/urban interplay continues throughout the clubhouse. Green and brown silhouettes of trees mark the walls of the basketball court, while a graphic composition of inlaid wood planks of various colors is featured in the table tennis room. In a party room, a graphic, pixel-inspired textile composition of varying shades is a contemporary translation of the lush, great outdoors. Jocelyn Short is a Cincinnatibased writer. eg magazine — 35


Empty Sky State of New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Property Management & Construction; Division of Parks and Forestry, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, N.J. Frederic Schwartz Architects

At dusk and dawn, an otherworldly halo effect touches the names engraved on the memorial. Photo: Frederic Schwartz Architects


The New Jersey 9/11 Memorial is a poignant tribute to loss, courage, and hope.

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Budget $11.5 million Project Area 2.6 acres Open Date September 10, 2011 Design Team Frederic Schwartz Architects Frederic Schwartz designer/ principal in charge, Jessica Jamroz designer/associate in charge, Alexander Isley Inc. graphic design, Alexander Isley creative director/ principal in charge, Hayley Capodilupo graphic designer

To frame the Empty Sky of its title, the stainless steel walls draw the eye to the cavity in the Manhattan skyline where the twin towers once stood. Photo: © David Sundberg/ Esto

Fabrication Hall Construction Co. contractor, Crystal Metalworks stainless steel fabrication, finishing, installation, Great Lakes Etching & Finishing stainless steel etching Photos David Sundberg/Esto, Frederic Schwartz Architects

Alexander Isley chose ITC Bodoni 12 for its powerful verticals and rounded serifs, as well as the contrast it provides for readable charcoal rubbings.

Ground Zero, Liberty State Park JUST played a dramatic role in the days following the across the Hudson River from

high stainless steel walls that form a corridor framing the view of where the twin towers once stood. “I started to draw that night,” remembers September 11 terrorist attacks. On 9/11, Jersey City Schwartz, principal of Frederic Schwartz Architects residents and office workers gathered on the shore, and long-time SoHo resident. “It was my way of witnessing the burning and collapse of the World getting it out, what was seared in my memory.” Trade Center towers. Afterward, dozens of private, The walls of the memorial cut through a gently commercial, and Coast Guard boats ferried sloping hill, and shelter a 12-ft.-wide granite path survivors across the river to safety. In the following that visitors follow to view the names of the 476 days and weeks, volunteers manned a family New Jersey victims. Marine-grade stainless steel assistance center in the former railroad terminal panels brushed to an ethereal matte finish make on the grounds while spontaneous memorials up the interior walls. A single row of 4- by 8-ft. sprang up on the water’s edge. stainless steel panels at eye level bears the names The families of the New Jersey victims of the victims in random order. organized as the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Jamroz, Schwartz, and graphic design partner Foundation, and chose a 2.6-acre site in the park to Alexander Isley wanted the names to be as large honor their dead. In June 2004, they selected Empty as possible. At a cap height of 3.6 in., they may be Sky, a memorial design created by Jessica Jamroz the largest found on a civilian memorial. Says Isley, and Frederic Schwartz. Empty Sky is dramatic in “At this size, they force you to contemplate, both its simplicity and its poignant reference to the to pay attention.” site of the attacks: a pair of 210-foot-long, 30-foot-

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Inspiration sticks with us Behind every application is a story about a printer, a converter or an installer, an idea and an array of product choices. This is what inspires the people of Avery Dennsion. Whether it’s a vehicle wrap or a transportation safety graphic, a wayfinding sign or an architectural surface, we are on an unwavering mission to develop the best product for every application imaginable. Find the perfect product for you at or call Customer Service at 1-800-282-8379. Transforming ideas into realities, that’s our story. What’s yours? Visit to share.

Inspired Brands. Intelligent World.


Fort Defiance Interpretive Center

WHEN THE EXPERIENCE MATTERS At 40 we’ve learned a few things about how to create an unforgettable experience. Like how to make a tree talk, a planet spin, or a stegosaurus come to life. We’ve learned that a good story is the fastest vehicle around (bar none) and that if you work an idea from every angle, you’ll find a way to put the “whoa!” back into wonder. When it’s the experience that matters, the sky’s the limit. Come fly with us. The Ohio Statehouse

North Carolina Museum of History

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS. THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Exhibits // Environments // Events


ANZ Centre ANZ, Melbourne Fabio Ongarato Design

Project Area 83,600m2 Open Date November 2009 Design Team Fabio Ongarato creative director; Daniel Peterson, Maurice Lai designers; Daniel Peterson, Maurice Lai typographers; Daniel Peterson illustrator; Craig McWhinney, Daniel Peterson, Maurice Lai finish artists

Fabrication Diadem signage manufacturer, Signature Flooring floor graphics, Bovis Lend Lease and Premier Graphics wall graphics, Tint Design window graphics and decals, JSB Lighting light sculpture Consultants HASSELL, Lend Lease Design architecture and interior design, Bovis Lend Lease construction Photos Earl Carter Photography

ANZ bank’s new head office in Melbourne, home to more than 6,500 staff, is the largest singletenanted commercial office building in Australia. With architecture inspired by a riverside setting and the maritime character intrinsic to Docklands, the building’s fluid forms and powerful internal spaces contribute to a commanding presence. The design evolved around the concept of an urban campus, focused on a central common, with a hierarchy of shared spaces, an openness fostering interaction, and a rich variety of settings providing scale and complexity. Fabio Ongarato Design created a comprehensive wayfinding and environmental graphics program that syncs with ANZ’s culture and values and

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complies with the 6-Star Green Star rating. The project scope included wayfinding strategy, location planning, and scheduling for exterior and interior signage as well as floor and wall supergraphics, light sculptures, ceiling-mounted digital prints, and a handcrafted magnetic MDF frame system. Wayfinding signage was designed as an extension of the architecture, with tall sculptural forms directly inspired by the shifting planes of the architecture. A key challenge was the sheer size and scope of the wayfinding strategy required for a 13-story building with three separate lift cores and a central 10-story atrium light well.


Battery Point Sculpture Trail

Budget $100,000 AUD

Hobart City Council, Hobart, Tasmania

Project Area Spread across a 19km suburb with 22 sites


Open Date November 2010

Design Team Daniel Zika concept and project manager; Kate Owen concept and graphic designer; Chris Viney concept and interpretation research and writing; Scott Christensen, Jennifer Nichols design detailing; Ingrid Berger, Rebecca Adamczewski junior graphic designers

Fabrication Aircon Industries steel/ aluminum fabrication and installation, Eye Spy Signs signage fabrication and installation, Digiglass Australia glass, Typeface Design and Print flatbed printing, John Robinson and Milan Milojevic etching, Fred Barratt, Yacht Design and Naval Architecture construction design Photos Jonathan Wherrett

Battery Point Sculpture Trail is a permanent installation of nine interpretive sculptures along a walking route through Battery Point, the historic waterfront suburb of Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. The “sculpture by numbers” trail encourages visitors to explore the waterfront via super-scaled, threedimensional numbers representing different aspects of the area’s history. Materials and construction techniques for the sculptures vary based on the story they illustrate. 313, for example, which floats on the waters of the port, was fabricated of modern boat-building materials by a professional shipwright, and represents the number of vessels built in Battery Point and launched into the River Derwent between 1825 and 1872.

While each sculpture is different in design and material, the team created visual consistency by using Helvetica Neue as the primary typeface for both sculptural form and interpretive content. Brief and evocative interpretive text accompanies each sculpture, either embedded within the piece or on a stand-alone sign nearby. A bold orange-and-gray graphic identity visually links the sculptures and wayfinding signage, including 15 directional elements fixed to existing infrastructure along the route. The project required a collaborative effort by a team of sculptors, researchers, writers, interpretive specialists, graphic designers, lighting designers, and project managers.

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Hollywood Hills Hotel Mel and Bernie Adler, Los Angeles Newsom Design

Budget $75,000 (signage) Project Area 47,000 sq. ft. Open Date May 2011

Design Team Lucy Gonzalez designer/ project manager

Consultants Koning Eizenberg Architecture architecture

Fabrication Frankly Made mural and painted flower, TFN Architectural Signage monument signs, painted directionals, exterior site signage

Photos Tim Street-Porter, Brian Lane, Lucy Gonzalez

Septuagenarian brothers Mel and Bernie Adler own the Hollywood Hills Hotel; their parents bought the nondescript brick building in 1948. Located on a gritty urban street within walking distance of new glamorous hotels and restaurants on Hollywood Boulevard, the hotel badly needed a refresh. The remodel was a challenge: the budget was modest and the site was messy, with two imperfect buildings (the original 1929 building and a 1970s addition). But by blurring the line between graphics and architecture, Newsom Design created

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a strong identity for a place that likes to bill itself as “the hotel closest to the Hollywood Sign.” The graphics program included a logo; a large mural directional; ADA, code, and information signs; and large painted graphics directing motorists through the complicated site. Newsom Design developed a visual vocabulary composed of Hollywood flair, old-school painted signs, and casual dot patterns. The super-scaled pixel-dot mural on the hotel’s facade was inspired by Pop artist Ed Ruscha, a favorite of the Adlers. Designed to read as Klieg lights from a distance, the mural dissolves into a random pattern up close. The finishing touch is the word “hotel” in hot pink script at the crossing of the Klieg lights, conceived as the “lipstick kiss” of a starlet in a glamour shot.


Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts American Folk Art Museum, New York

Budget $800,000 Project Area 53,000 sq. ft. Open Date March 2011

Thinc Design

Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts opened to acclaim at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in March 2011. Utilizing the bold quilts as both object and exhibition environment, it filled the tall volume of the hall with gossamer pavilions, sweeping walls, and arcs of exuberant quilts. The sheer volume—651 quilts in all—was both the star feature and the central exhibition challenge: how to display this spectacular collection in a way that hints at its origins, thrills the public, and enables extended inspection without fatigue? Thinc Design centered the exhibition on a ring of chairs with a “tornado” of quilts rising 45 feet above them—a nod to quilting circles and their prolific production. Flowing outward from

Design Team Tom Hennes creative director, Steven Shaw lead designer, Sherri Wasserman concept design and project director, Aki Shigemori graphic designer, Bix Biederbeck concept design and design support, Joe Ruster design detailing

Fabrication PRG fabrication and installation Consultants Palazzo Lighting Design lighting Photo Gavin Ashworth, Tom Hennes

this feature were cylindrical pavilions that enabled intimate viewing while permitting people to take in the breathtaking array of patterns criss-crossing the exhibition. The project scope included all exhibit elements, on-site graphics, installation coordination, and publicity graphics and banners. Signage included a large entry plinth with a curatorial statement. iPad/iPhone apps and mobile tours were also available. The exhibit’s minimal materials, simple MDF viewing platforms, and seating for more than 50 people were fully re-usable and recyclable.

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German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse

Budget $7,000

MoMa, New York

Project Area 13- by 52-ft.

MoMA Dept. of Advertising and Graphic Design

Open Date March 2011

German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse was an exhibition of more than 250 prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures, illustrated books, and periodicals drawn from MoMA’s collection of 3,000 pieces from this period. The vast amount of work inspired the idea of transforming the galleries into a time capsule of sorts—prompting visitors to feel as if they were walking into a cumulative presentation of this unique movement of art’s many works. The bold title wall was clearly legible as visitors entered the 6th floor Special Exhibition Gallery, but as they got closer, they discovered the shift between

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Design Team Julia Hoffmann creative director, Brigitta Bungard art director, Jesse Reed designer, Claire Corey production manager

Fabrication Paulette Giguere silkscreener Photo Martin Seck, © The Museum of Modern Art, 2012

the walls, which cut the title in two. This cut, emphasized by the red wall color, also symbolized World War I, a pivotal point for the German Expressionist movement. Inside the exhibition, visitors could see this motif repeated in the layout and color of the gallery walls. The in-house design team used letters from an old wood type alphabet, which at huge scale emphasized the imperfection of prints, yet still felt bold and contemporary. A closer look revealed how the black letters were painted with the texture of an enlarged woodcut, alluding to the texture of many of the prints in the exhibition.


Dig Deep Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. Cassie Hester

Dig Deep, a typographic installation created by MFA candidate Cassie Hester, is a study in the power of simplicity. Installed on the exterior wall of the Pollak Building, a design facility on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., the 16- by 4-foot piece consists of two sheets of 4- by 8-foot treated birch plywood, white high-gloss paint, 500 plastic straws, 8,064 nails, and thousands of pink-and-white sequins. Hester created a one-inch grid with nails that hold at least one sequin and a clear plastic buffer between the sequin and the board. Hester’s typographic message is revealed in white sequins that contrast subtly with the

Client MFA Thesis Exploration

Design Cassie Hester

Budget $800

Fabrication Cassie Hester, Bradley Brown, Westley Hester, Riley Hester, Micah Hester, Rick Hester fabrication; Radiant Manufacturing sequins

Project Area 64 sq. ft. Open Date September 2011

Consultants Rab McClure, Sara Al Falah, Daniel Cole, Sarah Weber installation and assistance; Roy McKelvey, Sandra Wheeler, Rab McClure thesis committee Photos Cassie Hester

pink-sequined background. Reflected light creates the sprawling message. Individuals interact with the piece by viewing it from afar and coming in close to analyze the detail. On windy days, passersby stop to observe the piece for a moment in their rush to and from classes. On windless days, they often blow on the surface or fan the piece with their arms, causing the discs to flutter and form a living surface. The shimmering piece is meditative and uplifting, revealing traits and secrets through reflective conversations. Hester designed it as a pleasurable, everyday companion for the people coming in and out of the building.

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Tribute Portal Northeastern University, Boston Selbert Perkins Design

Budget $225,000 Project Area 400 sq. ft. Open Date March 2012

The Bernard M. Gordon Tribute to Engineering Leadership is an interactive archway located in the center of the Northeastern University campus in Boston. Selbert Perkins Design, in collaboration with Richard Lewis Media Group, Pressley Landscape Architecture, and Northeastern University, designed the portal to honor 11 groundbreaking engineers who revolutionized aerospace engineering, computer technology, and communications. Gordon created the first analog/digital interface, and the tribute portal’s dynamic elements express the transformation of analog to digital technology. Standing 13 feet tall outside the university’s Snell Engineering Center, the portal invites visitors and students to enter its arch and be inspired by its content.

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Design Team Clifford Selbert partner-incharge, John Seeley principal Fabrication Design Communications Ltd.

Consultants Richard Lewis Media Group media design, Pressley Associates landscape architect Photos Anton Grassl ©2012

Housed in an aircraft-grade aluminum exoskeleton designed to withstand the unforgiving Northeastern weather, the portal is lined with two glowing LCD screens and bright LEDs that serve as the canvas for images, video, and animated text designed by RLMG. An intelligent internal cooling system can exchange the volume of air within the portal every three seconds, saving the electronics from meltdown in summer heat. Both the stories and the portal’s construction aim to inspire viewers to pursue an education in science, technology, and engineering.


Leeds Street Tree Grates

Budget $6,500 AUD (design only)

Maribyrnong City Council, Melbourne Water

Project Area 30m2 Open Date December 2011


In 2010, Maribyrnong City Council approached HeineJones to design an interpretive solution to describe the function and intent of a new “rain garden” installed as part of a streetscape redevelopment in the city of Footscray. The project included the planting of 22 trees utilizing principles of water-sensitive urban design. Collectively the trees form a rain garden, a system that uses rainfall to wash the streets, water trees, and filter and cleanse the water before it is fed into the local river. The interpretive solution needed to be integrated into the hardware of the rain garden and the footpath itself and it had to be robust, safe, and engaging. HeineJones’ solution presents the function and intent of a water garden as a piece of simple

Design Team Mike Heine creative director and writer, Steve Jones creative support, Anthea Lemmer designer, Peter Hvala technical director

Consultants CPG Australia urban, civil, and structural design Photos Mike Heine, Anthea Lemmer

Fabrication Multipro Civil civil construction, Atlas Fabrication steel fabrication and galvanizing, AC Laser Cutting laser cutting

poetry, laser cut though the 10mm steel plate of the tree grates. Presented in different scales and languages, the urban poems include large words that form abstract snippets of information about the rain garden, with the poem in its entirety reproduced via smaller type. While apparently simple, the design presented many challenges. Engineering requirements, technical limitations, and the challenge of the communication required close collaboration among HeineJones, the engineering team, the council’s Urban Design team, the water authority, and fabricators. The result has been so well received that Maribyrnong City Council adopted the same approach for all new rain gardens across the municipality.

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By the Sweat of their Brows

Budget $120,000 AUD

Sydney Water

Project Area 12,000m2

BrandCulture Communications

Open Date 2010

Design Team Stephen Minning creative director and art director, Antonijo Bacic graphic design, David Ing art work Fabrication Integrated Signage & Design

Consultants Bates Smart architecture, Brookfield Multiplex interiors Photos Philip Poyner

Potts Hill reservoir has supplied Sydney with its drinking water for more than 100 years, so it is of particular importance to the heritage of this public brand. The site contains the original screening chamber used to remove debris out of the upper canal. The first reservoir was built when the needs of Sydney’s population surpassed the capacity of the canal, and was a significant engineering feat at the time. The vast Potts Hill site incorporates several buildings of historical significance, including the original pump house. Sydney Water commissioned BrandCulture Communications to create a comprehensive environmental graphics program to celebrate this rich heritage. Graphics integrate imagery from an era that relied heavily on human labor. Large-scale photographic murals depict the people associated with the water department in bygone eras, adding a sense of humanity to a site that could easily look industrial and institutional. Glass meeting room walls are adorned with old drawings of the pump house, schematics of the water flow system, and maps of the surrounding areas. Dimensional, water droplet-inspired type is used for room identification. The meeting room names formed the basis of the wayfinding concept, each referencing a key element in the water system. 50 — eg magazine


ThInk: An Exploration into Making the World Better

Project Area 10,000 sq. ft.

IBM, New York

Open Date September 2011

Ralph Appelbaum Associates, SYPartners, Mirada

Design Team Ralph Appelbaum principal in charge; James Cathcart project director; Alex Vlack executive producer; Lilly Preston senior producer; Caitlin Mennen-Bobula project manager; Carlos Rodriguez, Andri Klausen 3D designers; Josh Hartley, Rosanna Vitiello graphic designers; Ilona Parkansky content developer

Fabrication George P. Johnson exhibit fabrication, engineering, installation, and event management Consultants NVT A/V, Joe Beirne technical specialist, PostWorks systems integration Photos Albert Vecerka/Esto

A cornerstone of IBM’s centennial celebration, THINK was a multimedia exhibition focused on how innovation makes the world better. It was free to the public, drawing 25,000+ diverse visitors— from CEOs to school kids—in its month-long run at Lincoln Center. A 123-foot-long LED wall attracted visitors with color, animated visualizations of real-time data from local sensors, and live feeds from government agencies and academic institutions about water consumption, solar energy, air quality, traffic congestion, and commerce. As visitors walked along the wall toward the exhibit space, they discovered how we can now see and measure change, waste, and opportunities in the world’s systems. The exhibit space presented a dynamic display of 20 two-sided, 8-foot-tall media columns arranged in a field of viewing clusters. The columns supported 40 85-inch plasma screens that served dual functions as displays and touch interactives. Housed between two 100-foot mirrored walls, this 3,000-square-foot field of media seemed to extend into infinity on both sides. After a 10-minute film exploring the pattern of technological progress, each of the 40 screens became interactive touchscreens, allowing visitors to actively explore and seek deeper insights into the ideas presented. THINK was inspired by IBM’s 1964 World’s Fair Pavilion, which ignited widespread interest in computing and set the stage for the technological revolution. Just as the pavilion demystified the complex scientific concepts of that era, THINK aimed to define today’s conversation about technology.

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National Mall Wayfinding

Budget $2 million

National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

Project Area 400 acres

Hunt Design

Open Date June 2011

Design Team Wayne Hunt principal in charge; Katie Varrati, In Sung Kim, Dinnis Lee, Kris Helmick, Christina Allen, Steve Hernandez designers

Fabrication Color-Ad Signs and Exhibits Photos Wayne Hunt

The 400-acre National Mall in Washington, D.C. —America’s most cherished place of remembrance and celebration—serves more than 25 million visitors annually, many of them non-English speakers. Hunt Design was charged with creating an effective and respectful wayfinding signage program to welcome visitors and direct them to more than 50 museums, monuments, and memorials. The new program communicates a sense of permanence and reflects the stature of the site, but manages not to distract from or intrude on the monuments themselves. The system is comprised of more than 500 signs and directory maps, including 9- by 6-foot and 5-foot pylons made of porcelain enamel panels over granite bases, as well as 60 all-new visitor-friendly maps in three sizes. It also incorporates a system of pictograms that illustrate and reinforce destinations. The review process for the project was extensive, requiring approvals by multiple federal and district agencies.

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For a Sweet New Year The Jewish Museum, New York Cooper Joseph Studio

Budget $4,500 Project Area Four windows Open Date September 2011

Design Team Wendy Evans Joseph, Chris Cooper principals in charge/ designers Photos Cooper Joseph Studio

In preparation for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Museum in New York used its windows facing Central Park to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Cooper Joseph’s solution celebrates the apple, specifically the tradition of eating apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. To reflect the significance and layered story behind the apple, Cooper Joseph created infinity boxes inside the four vitrine windows. Wood boxes were constructed and lined with mirrored acrylic, then Styrofoam apples were hung from black thread inside the boxes. In the daytime, the vitrine glass reflects the foliage on nearby trees so the apples appear to be hanging from the trees. At night, the trees disappear and the glass acts as a mirror from the inside, reflecting the mirrored acrylic to show infinite numbers of apples fading into the distance in an abstract environment.

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Public realm





Heritage & the arts

Sports venues


Rivermeade Signs - London Rivermeade Signs specialises in the design development, manufacture and installation of signs for major architectural sign projects and for hotels throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Our reputation is built on the manufacture of high quality custom signs and the management of complex signing projects. We believe that 2 factors in particular have been fundamental in achieving this goal. Most of the 50+ staff at Rivermeade have been part of our team for many years - staff turnover is minimal. We are proud to have 4 fathers and sons working together. All our staff members are versatile, highly skilled and work to a single quality standard - the best that can be achieved. We manufacture virtually everything we sell in our factories in London and Newcastle upon Tyne only sub-contracting specialist processes. This policy enables us to maximise control over quality and delivery. • • +44 (0)20 8896 6900 Rivermeade Signs

Design Firm: Two-Twelve

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InspIratIon ( 58—63 )

2012 sEGD Fellow Patrick Gallagher’s path to success ( 64—71 )

the roots of EGD

Richard Poulin’s long-awaited history book ( 74—75 )


The eloquent sketchings of Hal Kantner ( 76 )

Up Close

“Natural Navigator” Tristan Gooley



Patrick Gallagher has followed his own road to success—and along the way he’s led the design of some of the world’s most memorable museum experiences.

Sant Ocean Hall, National Museum of Natural History Washington, D.C. (2008) Gallagher dramatized the immensity and diversity of Earth’s final frontier in this exhibition for the Smithsonian museum. Photo: © Jay Rosenblatt

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2012 SEGD FELLOW Patrick gallagher


When did you first know you wanted to be a designer? I was always a visual person. I was always drawing or working in ceramics or painting. But finding my way to design was both intentional and accidental. Exhibition design is not a formal path, but one that you follow through many different connections. After getting my degree in graphic design, I worked in architectural firms and packaging firms and was always able to stretch my design to the dimensional environment. My connection to the museum world happened when I was 12 and visited the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. I had some big experiences there. The famous coal mine was a life-changer for me. At that time I could never quite express what it was that made such a huge impact, but with each passing year I recognize it more and more: it was the vivid reality of that experience and the total-immersion learning. What was your first experience with designing exhibits yourself? My first job out of school was in an architectural firm, and it was there that I got pushed into fullscale exhibition design. I had the opportunity to work in Singapore on a series of large, almost Worlds 60 — eg magazine

here’s no formal path to a career in museum planning and exhibition design, so Patrick Gallagher has blazed his own. As president and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based design firm Gallagher & Associates, the 2012 SEGD Fellow has led the design of some of the most memorable museum exhibitions in the world, from his longstanding relationship with the Smithsonian Institution in the U.S. to high-profile projects in Asia, India, and Europe.

He has also struck out on paths less traveled by his peers—becoming involved in museum planning and development from the ground up and helping clients pioneer for-profit museums such as the International Spy Museum. Along the way, he has built a philosophy of practice that stands the test of more than 30 years: “Listen to your clients, focus on their visitors’ needs, and great design will happen.”

Fair-scale exhibitions. That was the first real sea change in regards to my career. It was such a large-scale event, temporary but very big and bold, and there were all kinds of consultants involved in it. It gave me a taste of what this world could be like.

How did you become involved with SEGD, and why have you continued being a major supporter? One of my goals is to teach the next generation. Eventually some of my employees will leave my company, but I hope they are enriched and that they learned things they never thought they would. To me, that’s what SEGD is about. The best thing about the SEGD community is being around other people who want to foster the next generation. I owe who I am to people who were willing to teach me. We can all have a huge impact on our younger colleagues. That’s what I aspire to and that’s what many others in the SEGD community aspire to.

How did Gallagher & Associates get started? I was in a design partnership for many years called Douglas/ Gallagher. We did environmental graphic design as well as exhibition design, and I realized that I wanted to focus on museum planning and exhibition design. I was really interested in understanding how people function inside exhibitions, how to motivate them, how to engage them and stimulate them. Not just from a design standpoint, but how the story or idea connects to people. We were doing work with the Smithsonian and they were pushing for more evaluation and market testing and working with educators. It was a more analytical and processoriented approach and I really enjoyed that. And I also needed to prove to myself that I could run a firm on my own. So I started Gallagher & Associates in 2000 and we haven’t looked back.

Exhibition design has been dramatically impacted by technology. Do you have a philosophy or approach to using technology in your exhibition design work? It’s a really tough question. Technology can easily be overused or used for the wrong reasons. It’s like any technique in any museum: we have all these wonderful interpretive tools, and understanding the appropriate balance is really critical.

Vault of the Secret Formula, World of Coca-Cola Atlanta (2011) Few objects spark an aura of intrigue like the door of a vault. Fantastic in its massive, stylized, impenetrable appearance, this portal draws guests into the High Security Zone surrounding the home of the Secret Formula. Photo: Second Story Interactive

Mob Museum: Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement Las Vegas (2012) This signature new museum will serve as an anchor for downtown Las Vegas development. Immersive environments, scenic recreations, and highly interactive spaces put the visitor in the shoes of mobsters, federal investigators, and gamblers as they explore and experience the colorful history of the city. Photo: Sujit Tolat, Gallagher & Associates

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2012 SEGD FELLOW Patrick gallagher

National Museum of American Jewish History Philadelphia (2010) In this five-floor exhibit, G&A incorporated opportunities for visitors to record their impressions and experiences. These comments are used to continually evaluate museum content. Photo: Š Jay Rosenblatt Grammy Museum Los Angeles (2008) This 30,000-sq.-ft. museum dedicated to the history, art, and technology of recorded music incorporates theater and multimedia in a variety of ways. Without an established collection of artifacts, G&A focused on developing rich interactive experiences and immersive environments punctuated with bold textures, photographs, and typography. Photo: Jeremy Regenbogen, Gallagher & Associates

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“Patrick has made enormous and vital contributions to the field of environmental graphic design. He was among those who led the integration of exhibit design, storytelling, and interpretive design into the mainstream of SEGD. His strategic approach and analysis set a new model for planning and design of museums with the for-profit international spy museum in DC. His projects read like a who’s who of visitor centers and museums around the world.” Leslie Gallery Dilworth, Former SEGD CEO

What is the best way to tell this story? Through a piece of film? With artifacts? With an interactive display? In layers using all of these? Knowing the story will help us understand the best way to connect with visitors. If we don’t balance it appropriately, the recipe is not going to taste good. We don’t want to lean too heavily on any one source of interpretation, or it will feel artificial. Technology will change, but the reason people come to museums won’t. They come for the truth. The story has to be real and truthful, and if it’s a collectionsbased institution, it has to be about showing them the real thing. Kids get way more excited about seeing real dinosaur bones than about playing another interactive game. They’re looking for truth and honesty. I hope museums will always be the place where they can find it. What’s ahead for technology integration in museums? For the next few years, we’ll be busy debating how much of the exhibition environment migrates

from the museum to your handheld device. The phone you’re carrying around right now is a great deal more powerful than the first computer you ever had. It’s become such an important tool for people in how they do their work, connect with others, research, or entertain themselves. It’s right there and everybody is trying to figure out how to harness it. Should we encourage them to leave it in their pocket, or use it as a way to keep them connected with the museum experience? How can they take their museum experience home, or research a topic they got excited about, or use their device as a keeper of memories? How can we use it to connect with visitors even before they arrive at the museum?

have others around me who can help me satisfy my curiosity and move in new directions.

You’ve earned a lot of respect among your peers for successfully managing a leading design firm. Can you share any secrets? I learned a long time ago, if you don’t know how to do it, go find people who do. If you want to grow into new areas, find people who can do what needs to be done. You can’t do everything. I need to

Fill in the blank: If I could just get my hands on ___, I’d totally redesign it. The TSA, for sure! It’s the worst experience in the world and it’s not getting any better. As someone who travels a great deal, this is something that really impacts me a lot. I’d totally retool the experience with the “visitor” in mind.

How have you managed to grow into an international practice? Working in Singapore for three years gave me a taste for working internationally. The reality is that for the next generation, we’re going to need to understand cross-cultural communications, how people learn and express ideas through different styles and approaches. I’m clearly not pursuing international work for financial success, because it’s tough making money internationally. The value is in the learnings: when staff work abroad they come back more well rounded, with a broader sense of ideas and expressions.

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THE ROOTS OF EGD An excerpt from Richard Poulin’s long-awaited history of environmental graphic design

Graphic Design + Architecture: A 20th-Century History, by Richard Poulin, Rockport Publishers, available November 2012

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For centuries, graphic design and architecture have coexisted in the built environment. Although each discipline speaks in its own unique language, each has historically attempted a dialogue with the other. Architecture speaks of form, space, and purpose, celebrating human continuity and offering experiences that both function and inspire. Graphic design—typography, image, and symbol—communicates the subtleties of time and place and tells cultural and visual stories, clarifying a building’s purpose and echoing its architectural message. Our need to dedicate and consecrate places is clearly the beginning of the integration of graphic design and architecture. Classical inscriptions, figurative murals, and ornamental surfaces have long been a part of architecture and have influenced our understanding of typographic form and graphic style and their visual representation in the built environment. Buildings and public spaces coexist with billboards and signs, patterned and textured facades, and informational and wayfinding signs to effect an overall experience with the public. Graphic design has become integrated with the built environment in shaping not only cities but also the lives of their inhabitants. At the intersection of the history of art and architecture, seminal examples of 20th-century graphic design arose in our built environment from the cultural, social, and economic climate of their time. Urban streetscapes, office buildings, museums, convention centers, airports, public parks, shopping malls, and entertainment centers all have been transformed by the use of environmental graphic design. This design discipline has evolved not only by its technical improvements but also by its integral relationship over time to art, architecture, and cultural movements.

For example, the meetinghouse signs and identification markers of American Shaker communities; Russian constructivist wall murals lining the streets of Moscow during the Bolshevik Revolution; the great white ways of Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, and the Las Vegas Strip; and corporate identity and branding of the American marketplace after World War II all responded directly to the social constructs, political upheavals, and economic needs of the times. Additionally, prevailing artistic movements directly influenced and inspired other groundbreaking design benchmarks such as Hector Guimard’s art nouveau entrances to the Paris Metro, Otto Wagner’s decorative building facades in Vienna, Edward Johnston’s typography for the London Underground, and Robert Venturi’s transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary by applying decorative imagery to conventional building forms. Innovators and visionaries such as Georges Claude, Charles Eames, Donald Leigh, Alvin Lustig, Walt Disney, Alexander Girard, and Deborah Sussman have all transformed our built environment with innovative and revolutionary graphic design solutions during the course of the 20th century. The built environment that we experience in our everyday lives continually relies upon graphic design to communicate information and identity, shape our overall perception and memory of a sense of place, and ultimately enliven, enrich, and humanize our lives. Richard Poulin, FSEGD, is a principal and design director of Poulin + Morris Inc., the award-winning, New Yorkbased multidisciplinary design firm he co-founded with Douglas Morris. He is the author of The Language of Graphic Design (Rockport Publishers, 2011) and coauthor of Typography Referenced (Rockport Publishers, 2012).

1879–1933 The Impact of Invention Michelin Building The Michelin Building was the first permanent United Kingdom headquarters and tire depot for the Michelin Tyre Company Ltd., completed in 1911. The building, at Fulham Road in the Chelsea section of London, was designed by Françoise Espinasse (1880–1925), who was employed as an engineer in the construction department at Michelin’s headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France. While it was designed and built at the end of the art nouveau era, it is difficult to define a specific architectural style for the building. It is an eclectic mix of art nouveau and art deco styles and graphic motifs evident in several prominent elements on its facade, as well as in its interior. The building’s exterior tiled facade is a colorful, three-dimensional advertisement for the company with a composite of promotional images containing hand-painted pictorial panels manufactured by

famed Parisian tile maker Gilardoni Fils et Cie (est. 1880) and depicting scenes of early-20thcentury motoring. Typographic and numeric panels identify Michelin and related advertising slogans in letterform styles of the time period. Etched-glass street maps of Paris appear in a number of windows along the first floor, and decorative metalwork carries stylized typographic monograms of the company. Two glass cupolas, which appear as if they are a pile of tires, frame either side of the building’s entrance. Three large stained glass windows grace the interior, all featuring the Michelin Man or “Bibendum,” and are based on Michelin advertisements of the time period. Bibendum, designed by the French artist and cartoonist Marius Roussillon (aka O’Galop; 1867–1966) and commonly referred to as the Michelin Man, is one of the world’s oldest trademarks, first introduced at the Lyon Exhibition of 1894.

1911 The Michelin Building in London, with its stainedglass windows featuring the Michelin Man, was one of the first examples of graphic design in the built environment fully realized as one integrated, holistic point of view. Photo: James Stringer

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1925 At the Café de Unie in Rotterdam, graphic design and architecture become one structure, one sign, one message, and ultimately one integrated identity. Photo: Netherlands Architecture Institute

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1937 Lee Lawrie’s figurative bas-relief frieze “Wisdom” used graphically communicative forms to animate Rockefeller Center’s building exteriors, and simultaneously functioned as essential storytelling devices for an otherwise austere architectural experience. Photo: Wally Gobetz

1901–1928 Art and Technology: A New Unity

1924–1940 Style and the Mass Market

J.J.P. Oud and Café de Unie The facade of Café de Unie, designed by J.J.P. Oud in 1925, is a seminal example of the de Stijl art movement and a twentieth-century benchmark for graphic design in the built environment. Jacobus Johannes Pieter (J. J. P.) Oud (1890–1963) was a Dutch master of contemporary architecture. Together with artist and architect Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931), Oud cofounded the famous artists group and magazine de Stijl with painter Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), designer Vilmos Huszar (1884–1960), and writer and poet Antony Kok (1882–1969) in 1917. Oud designed the famous Café de Unie facade in 1925. Located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the building’s facade illustrates his attempt at applying de Stijl principles to graphic design and architecture, treating it as a pure, singular graphic composition, articulated with bold geometric deco-style sans-serif typography, also designed by Oud, and in bright primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, with black and white. The facade clearly illustrates Oud’s vision of visual order, harmony, and balance on a monumental scale.

Rockefeller Center Rockefeller Center is a 12-acre (4.8 ha) building complex in midtown Manhattan developed by American philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) between 1929 and 1940. The original master plan, designed by American architect Raymond Hood (1881–1934), was composed of 14 limestone-clad, aluminum-trimmed, monolithic massed buildings designed in the art deco style and was the largest private construction project in the world when it began in 1929. The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the 70-story, 872-foot (266 m) GE Building (formerly known as the RCA Building) at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The center’s scope, visionary plan, and groundbreaking integration of architecture and graphic art and sculpture created by some of the world’s most renowned artists and designers was unprecedented at the time of its completion and became a showcase of art deco design principles. This is clearly evident in the work of American sculptor Lee Lawrie (1877–1963), who contributed the largest number of individual works, 12 in all, including the statue of Atlas facing Fifth Avenue and “Wisdom”—the ornamental recessed figurative bas-relief frieze above the main entrance to the GE Building. Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi’s (1904–1988) gleaming stainless steel bas-relief “News” depicts typewriters, cameras, telephones, and newsmen at work. The relief is located above the main entrance of 50 Rockefeller Plaza (the Associated Press Building) and at the time was the largest metal bas-relief (22 feet high by 17 feet wide) in the world, and clearly and boldly branded the building with a very specific and appropriate symbolic message.

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1924–1945 Between the Wars Works Progress Administration (WPA) The Works Progress Administration or WPA (renamed the Works Projects Administration in 1939) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal-era agency that employed millions of unskilled American workers to implement public works projects during the country’s Great Depression. During Word War II, numerous large-scale murals communicating a variety of propaganda messages of patriotism and military service were funded and produced by the WPA that employed hundreds of graphic artists and photographers and adorned the walls of major public buildings throughout the United States. For example, Pennsylvania Station, designed by architects McKim, Mead & White (est. 1879) in 1910 and one of New York City’s greatest Beaux-Arts public monuments ever to be built, was used as a venue for the display of many WPA-funded murals during wartime. In 1945, a patriotic photographic mural featuring Pennsylvania Railroad staff that were helping with the war effort, enlisted or not, was installed on the station’s General Waiting Room walls. This inventive mural, designed by renowned American designer Raymond Loewy (1893–1986), was composed of a series of large-scale, cut-out, black-and-white photographic portraits, each measuring approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) high. This allowed the towering ornamental walls of the station to be revealed, as well as function as a visual ground for the mural’s figures, while simultaneously providing a restrained backdrop for bold typographic messages that called for the purchase of war defense bonds and stamps by the American public.

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1946–1963 Populuxe: The American Influence Las Vegas and the Neon Desert Fremont Street, named in honor of the American politician and explorer John Charles Fremont (1813–1890), is in the heart of downtown Las Vegas’s casino corridor and dates back to as early as 1905 when the city was founded. It was the first paved street in Las Vegas and was nicknamed “Glitter Gulch” in the early 1950s due to an abundance of neon signs for casinos such as Binion’s Horseshoe, Eldorado Club, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, Golden Nugget, The Mint, and the Pioneer Club. It is the second most famous street in Las Vegas after the Las Vegas strip. “Vegas Vic” is the unofficial name for the towering cowboy erected in 1951 on the exterior of the Pioneer Club. This 40-foothigh (12.2 m) animated neon sign, designed with human-like characteristics of a waving arm, moving cigarette, and an audio recording of “Howdy Podner” that ran every 15 minutes, was a departure at the time, since most signs introduced in the city during this era were letterform based, not figurative or character based.

1945 Raymond Loewy’s inventive WPA mural at Penn Station in New York City was composed of a series of large-scale cut-out photographic portraits that provided a dramatic backdrop for patriotic typographic messages. It was one of hundreds of WPA murals used to promote war efforts and employ artists and designers. Photo: New York Transit Museum

1951 Perhaps the most recognized electronic sign in Las Vegas, Vegas Vic was designed and built by Young Electric Sign Company, and became the unofficial greeter to Las Vegas visitors. Photo: Peter Beaumont

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1968 Rudolph de Harak transformed 127 John Street’s generic architecture with an entrance tunnel illuminated by rings of blue argon-gas-filled tubes. He used color as wayfinding cues: bright blue to guide visitors to the low-rise side of the building, and red for the high-rise side. Photo: Poulin + Morris Inc.

1983 Pierluigi Cerri’s visual identity for the Turin Lingotto used sculptural form as a placemaking element. His colorful, monolithic letters were a perfect counterpoint to the industrial aesthetic of the former Fiat automobile factory. Photo: Gregotti Associati International srl

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1950–1979 Modernism and the International Style Rudolph de Harak and 127 John Street Designed by architects Emery Roth & Sons (est. 1947) in 1968, 127 John Street was a 32-story (97.6 m), multitenant commercial office building in New York City’s financial district. The building’s architecture was characteristic of the time period —a generic building mass clad in a standard glass and aluminum curtain wall with an open-floored structure for maximum flexibility for tenant buildout. Fortunately the building came to be known as one of the most exciting projects of the early 1970s due to the innovative contributions of an independent-minded graphic designer—Rudolph de Harak (1924–2002). de Harak was a self-taught designer who honed his skills and vision over the years by working in small art service firms and advertising agencies. During the early 1960s, de Harak was immediately drawn to the rigor, simplicity, and rationalism of the International Style and European modernism, as well as the art movements of the era—abstract expressionism, op art, and pop art. One of his most humanistic projects where he integrated these early influences was 127 John Street in Lower Manhattan, in which he literally transformed the identity of a faceless building into an unforgettable visual experience and an “atmosphere of pleasure, humor, and excitement for people.” Entering the building from Fulton Street, a corrugated steel tunnel illuminated by multiple rings of blue argon-gas-filled tubes guided visitors to the low- and high-rise elevators. The interior walls of the elevator cabs were clad in porcelain enamel steel panels, illuminated from above and glowing bright blue on the low-rise side, bright red for the high-rise. The end result was a veritable visual playground that greatly enhanced the building architecture and ultimately redefined what a modern-day street-level entrance for a speculative office building could be.

1966–1995 Postmodernism and Beyond Turin’s Lingotto When Fiat’s Lingotto car plant opened in Turin, Italy, in 1920, it quickly became an international landmark for the industrial revolution and technological progress due to its sheer size, rationalist architectural design, and famous rooftop test track. In 1982, the plant ceased production and Fiat began to search for new uses for this enormous facility. As part of their process, the car company invited 20 internationally acclaimed architects to submit design proposals with the only requirement being that their proposals respect the architectural integrity of the original plant. The result was called “Venti progetti per il futuro del Lingotto” (Twenty projects for Lingotto’s future), an exhibition that displayed all 20 proposals for the public’s consideration. Italian graphic designer Pierluigi Cerri (b. 1939) of Gregotti Associates (est. 1974) was responsible for the project’s graphic design program that included a sign system for the exhibition of the 20 submitted proposals. The project’s main identification sign consisted of a group of large-scale sculptural sans-serif letterforms strategically located outside the factory’s main entrance, which spelled out “Lingotto.” These three-dimensional, monumental 12-foot (4 m) letters rose in the air and formed a dynamic presence due to their varied orientations to one another—some upright, some placed at an angle. Lingotto’s utilitarian architecture of concrete, metal, and glass provided an appropriate and contrasting backdrop for this sculptural grouping of vibrant blue, green, red, and yellow monolithic letterforms. As a result of the debate triggered by the submissions, Lingotto was converted to a multipurpose facility dedicated to producers and users of advanced technology.

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Hal Kantner Director of Visual Communications, HOK “Our Possibilities Sketchbook process can be summarized as rapid conceptualization through visual listening. The ideas generated in interviews and group discussions are turned into visual meeting notes. The sketchbook’s minimal investment in production allows all stakeholders’ ideas to live equally. The visual spontaneity invites participation, as opposed to a computer rendering that looks like the final product.”

Kantner’s HOK design team anchored the lobby of Eli Lilly’s renovated corporate headquarters with 16- by 32-ft. backlit murals. Multilayered images, textures, and storylines were inspired by Lilly’s contributions to science and society.

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“The review process, in fact, invites more creative critique, often resulting in reviewers adding their own hand-drawn sketching and notations. The process encourages our client’s desire to be involved in developing the solution, rather than just approving it. It invites engagement with ideas rather than demanding the client critique them. It’s fun, participatory, and energizing rather than formal and structured. And it asks the client to use their imagination and co-create with us.”

“ The visual spontaneity asks the client to use their imagination and co-create with us.” Kantner annotates his “possibilities sketches” with conceptual details that translate client discussions into visual meeting notes.

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Tristan Gooley Before GPS, before the compass, and even before cartography, humankind was navigating. Explorer and author of The Natural Navigator, Tristan Gooley believes that even in the days of GPS and satnav, we should develop the instinctual wayfinding skills we all possess (but rarely use) to navigate the natural and manmade world. When we can now rely on GPS to get us there, why is it important to develop natural navigation skills? It sometimes seems to me that wayfinding technology is a story of the triumph of efficiency over experience. There are many different ways of describing this problem, but there are two analogies that I think do the job well. Why go to an excellent restaurant, when fast food can get the calories in more quickly? Why read a novel, when the plot is available on Wikipedia?

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Give us a crash course: what are the basics of natural navigation? My book is the crash course and that won’t quite fit here, but the super-condensed crash course is: The sun and stars can be used very effectively to find direction; the north star is north and the sun is due south in the middle of the day. But the art and fascination in natural navigation lies in the fact that the sun’s path in the sky is not symmetrical and neither are the patterns of the wind. The sun and wind leave “footprints” in our environment that we can learn to read. Very few things in our environment are symmetrical: trees are heavier on their southern side and their tops are windswept. Buildings, lichens, satellite dishes, puddles, and rocks all betray clues to direction. Animals also offer clues, not least the ubiquitous human animal. If you want to find a station in a city, go against the flow of people in the morning and with it in the afternoon.

How can natural navigation be integrated into wayfinding systems for complex interior spaces, such as airports? I love the work that is being done to give strong, often subliminal, clues to location in the form of plants. Hanging plants near all escalators, for example, is such a beautiful way of circumventing the language challenge of a conventional sign. Natural navigation is a lot about observation skills. I’m guessing it’s almost impossible to perfectly predict how flows of people will react to a wayfinding system without observing it in action. I imagine that the most successful systems incorporate an element of observation and feedback in the design system. What is your pet peeve about the man-made wayfinding systems you’ve encountered? I doubt I’m alone in finding that sign systems that make assumptions are unfortunately sometimes wrong in their assumptions. Specifically, road signs that include a destination at each junction for three junctions in a row and then drop it for one junction (presumably because it is “obvious”), before resuming if you are lucky enough to still be on track at the next junction. Aaaaargh!

NO. 02, 2012

NO. 02, 2012



Xlab 2012: Tech in Context November 7 & 8, 2012 Austin, Texas, USA Technology Innovation Design Presenting Sponsor: Daktronics


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