During a recent Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership event at Rizzoli Bookstore, Michael Bierut, a partner at the Flatiron-based office of Pentagram, spoke about a few standout projects and his long-term relationship with the Flatiron neighborhood. We attended the talk and here is what we’ve learned:
Collaborating with unexpected partners can lead to more possibilities “than there are known atoms in the universe.” By seeking the help of a colleague’s physicist husband, Bierut and his team were able to conceive of a logo that could rotate to build limitless patterns. This gave an air of whimsy and excitement to an otherwise chic and historic department store, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Dwell on the Past
For The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Bierut took design cues from the Middle Ages. He and his team redrew a near-ancient blackletter font and paired it with comical copy, bright colors and bold design. This playfully modern take on church branding communicates The Cathedral’s programming, outreach and events in a unique and engaging way.
A Sight Unseen
The New York Times building’s exterior faced Bierut with a tough challenge: design a large-scale graphic to conform to neighborhood ordinances without obstructing the view from the inside. Bierut approached this project with a literal, unique perspective. By breaking the logo into teardrop shaped pieces and arranging them across a screen of rods, the logo can be seen from street level, yet is barely visible from the interior.
As a team of deeply curious artists, designers, writers and thinkers, we naturally approach every project with an artful perspective. We’re fortunate to be situated in a neighborhood teeming with creative inspiration.