Capn Design

Entries tagged Pentagram

The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox


US Gov is Taking Down a Beautiful Sign at a Border Crossing

"'The sign could be a huge target and attract undue attention,' a spokeswoman for the Customs and Border Protection Agency told the Times. 'Anything that would place our officers at risk we need to avoid.'" Um, that's unbelievable. Are they going to start shape-shifting the White House because people can recognize it?


Posted March 17, 2009


Digging this logo by Michael Beirut, done by Pentagram for the Library Initiative.

The Library Initiative "a range of talented architects would design the libraries; private companies would donate books and funds; and we would provide the graphic design, including signage, wayfinding, and a masterbrand that would tie all the sites together." It's a part of the Robin Hood Foundation, which is building new school libraries throughout NYC.

What's the Problem?

Posted April 21, 2008

Wednesday of last week I went to see three partners from Pentagram — Paula Scher, Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke — present "Designing New York’s Visual Identity" at the Museum of the City of New York. Most of the pieces weren't new to me, but the discussion portion got my mind stirring.

One of the Michaels, I believe it was Bierut, mentioned his preference for redesigns over creating new branding. Responding to a question about how to deal with poorly received design, Scher explained that this is actually a failure in understanding the client's needs. Together, these points got me thinking about the anxiety that comes with new design projects.

I enjoy design work, but I often get frustrated when there isn't a clearly defined set of problems. Redesigns tend to be easier because the questions are clearer. Not only do you have an existing model for reference, but the client has a better sense of what's missing in the current setup.

The key to keeping frustrations at bay is defining as many questions and answers as possible before putting pen to paper. If you don't have all the questions, go back to the client. If you don't have all the answers, go to your coworkers or peers. It sounds simple, but it's something I rarely remember to do when I'm feeling stressed.

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