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Posts Tagged ‘Paula Scher’

Cooper-Hewitt Celebrates National Design Awards: Highlights from Winners’ Panel

It’s National Design Week, and tonight the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will celebrate the winners of the 2013 National Design Awards with a ceremony and dinner at Pier Sixty in New York. Special guests including Tom Wolfe, Al Gore, and Kurt Andersen will be on hand to present the winners with their coveted glass asterisks, while the delightful Todd Oldham will announce the winner of this year’s People’s Design Award. We sent writer Nancy Lazarus to the National Design Awards Winners’ Panel, held at Parsons The New School for Design.

(Angela Jimenez)
Richard Saul Wurman (center) moderates a discussion among NDA winners. Pictured from left, Tiya Gordon, Paula Scher, Gadi Amit, and Mike Femia. (Photos: Angela Jimenez)

Four of this year’s National Design Award winners appeared at a Tuesday evening panel moderated by Richard Saul Wurman, TED founder and 2012 lifetime achievement award winner. Topics encompassed winners’ early career experiences, current projects, and the award’s impact. Below are selected comments from each winning designer or firm.

Paula Scher, principal at Pentagram (communications design):
• “It’s a big deal that the U.S. government honors design, and it’s important to society. If the accolade is a seal of approval, that’s fantastic, but the next day, business is still business.”
• “At Pentagram we’re independent minded designers, there are no strategists. We establish direct client relationships using analogies and entertainment.”
• “With my hobby, large-scale paintings of maps, I use information to create the spirit of a place. It’s the antidote to my design life where I create corporate communications identities.”
• “During my earlier experience creating graphic design for music covers/albums, I learned about the relationship with the public. My work at Pentagram is still largely connected to entertainment, and much of the identity work is focused on making design accessible.”
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Paula Scher Says Get Rid of ‘America’ and Ditch the “Star Spangled Banner,” But Keep the Flag

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Seeing as we just now got through the first, year-old, 3,400-page issue of Monocle, we realized there’s no way we’ll be able to catch up with the articles we want to pass along to you by actually reading the magazine. So let’s skip ahead (which is actually behind) to something we really wanted to read back when we hauled the September issue onto our pushcart and wheeled it into our office, but couldn’t actually lift it onto our desk.

The feature in question is “Future States,” a rebranding of the US by Paula Scher. Unfortunately, the print piece is (still) only available to subscribers, but there’s a video component, Brand America, an interview with Scher conducted by Tyler Brûlé. In it, she advocates trashing several visual icons of the USA brand, including the “America” portion of our name. Which is funny, since she designed the book on America. She’s probably really regretting that now.

Pentagram Introduces New Intern Toilet

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The first of the public toilets have begun to pop up around New York City, and the NY Times christened this particular porcelain throne by cramming a bunch of people inside and describing the “space age” features of the little self-cleaning miracle.

But we like to refer to this particular one, located in Madison Square Park, home to our beloved Shake Shack, as the Pentagram Outhouse. Of course you’ll notice that it’s wrapped in the Mad Sq. Park identity by Paula Scher, but it’s also conveniently located in the park opposite Pentagram’s offices, where some creatives are using it a nice quiet place to concept.

Serious Play and Seeds of Change in SoCal This Spring

Is there really anything more lovely than Southern California in the spring? The mudslides are just ending, yet you’re still safely outside the height of the wildfire season. What better time to attend two design conferences in our neck of the woods? Coincidentally, we received updates for both these upcoming events one after another in our inbox today, as if our travel itinerary was being sent from above.

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First up, Seeds of Change, the lucky 13th year of the Y Conference, held by AIGA San Diego. This year has a greenish tint to it, and a twist by adding a moderator, Susan Szenasy. Paul Hawken headlines, other highlights are Derek Fagerstrom and Julia Cosgrove from ReadyMade, Janet Kübler from the Biomimicry Guild, Speak Up’s Jason Tselensis and AIGA sustainability chair Marc Alt. We’ve attended for the last two years, and our verdict remains the same: it’s very affordable for a big-time conference, but still small enough that you’ll find yourself drinking Champagne by the Hotel Solamar’s pool with the same person you’re supposed to get up and see speak at 9am. March 27-29.

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Just about a month later (why not stay at the Hotel Solamar pool until then?), the Art Center’s biennial conference has fun with Serious Play. John “Hocks” Hockenberry moderates Elizabeth Diller, David Macaulay, John Maeda, Paula Scher and more, organized by Chee Pearlman. This was the typical speaker/moderator conference but this year they’re adding hands-on studios, three-hour creative workshops. Although we found ourselves gasping at the price–$1350 before March 11–we have to say that two years ago, we were also gasping at the long and illustrious list of luminaries we encountered in the superfancy refreshment tent between sessions. May 7-9.

It’s the Most Wonderful Op-Ed Art of the Year

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Christoph Niemann‘s jars-o-fun? Andrea Deszö‘s flower power (above)? Paula Scher‘s blog dissection (which we loved back in April)? Yep, they’re all there, in the NY Times’ Notable Op-Ed Art slideshow.

The 2008 Art Center Conference Is Just Playin’, Y’all

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In related John Hockenberry news, the sequel to one of his more entertaining moderator gigs just announced itself. The 2008 Art Center Conference will be May 5-7 in Pasadena, CA, with another curiously-named theme: Serious Play. Registration opens November 1.

Early confirmed speakers include IDEO’s Tim Brown; ball-master Michael Moschen; Elizabeth Diller; Paula Scher and John Maeda. Once again the conference is curated by the lovely Chee Pearlman. And once again, we’ll be there, compiling the highlights, for you.

Michael Bierut Roasted; We’ve Got the Charred Bits

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Why we are not invited to such things, we do not know. But when we hear things like “Michael Bierut is being roasted at an exclusive benefit held at the Architectural League,” we think, well, good thing we have the spies. Well-dressed spies, who drink far too much and only remember the good parts. Spies who supply us with choice information like this about our favorite 50-year-old.

Kurt Andersen served as emcee/host/moderator and Massimo Vignelli said Bierut was the best designer he’s ever employed.

Jim Biber and Bierut were sitting in the exit row of a flight about to take off from La Guardia when they had to evacuate the plane on the runway. Back in the airport reeling from their emergency efforts, Bierut looked at his watch and said, “I think we could still make the 12:10 flight.” They did, and made it to Seattle where they nailed a job. Paula Scher, however, just had to recount the one job Bierut didn’t get.

Steven Heller read a mock obituary that had the crowd roaring. Writer Suzanne Stephens performed what was described to us as a “burlesque dance.” And Dorothy Bierut told a story about her fine husband strolling out of the gym…without his pants.

And the photo above? We don’t know what he’s doing there. But we honestly can’t tell if he has pants on there, either.

The Tote Bag That May Get You Fired

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Who was the copywriter on this unprecedented display of designer hubris? Who manufactured such an item? Who has the balls to carry one around? Anonymous confessions accepted, plus bonus points for whoever can help direct us to where we can purchase one of these things. We’ve been looking for just the right gift for David Carson.

Thanks to Margaret Yang.

Paula Scher, Jake Burton and Gwen Stefani Together at Last

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Let us present to you one Paula Scher, superstar designer, who is representing the design industry in a new campaign for HP as one of a trio of creative superstars. And doing it fabulously, we might add.

HP’s “What do you have to say?” site features ideas and projects for creatives by Scher, Gwen Stefani and Jake Burton. Scher’s contribution is five customizable business identity templates, links to some books we like and resources for those looking to hire designers. After that, you can play with Stefani’s Harajuku paper dolls.

Steven Heller, Graphic Design’s Biggest Fan, to be Honored In SVA Exhibition

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The world’s most prolific design writer, recently-named Design Observer, and subject of much obsession here on the old UnBeige, Steven Heller will be honored with SVA’s Masters Series Award, including an exhibition and catalog of his work that sounds like quite the spectacle:

Curated and designed by Kevin O’Callaghan, chair of 3D Design at SVA, the exhibition highlights the inspiration and collaboration behind Heller’s many achievements as a writer and art director. On view will be over 100 covers of The New York Times Book Review that Heller art directed and a visual anthology of his major publications, with select volumes available to peruse…Nearby, visitors will be able to browse Heller’s many contributions to American and foreign periodicals at a full-scale replica of a New York City newsstand. The centerpiece of the multimedia display will be a larger-than-life photo montage of Heller’s library with recorded commentary about his collection of design ephemera and its role in his research and writing. In a series of video podcasts specially commissioned for the exhibition, Heller will discuss design in the context of popular culture, politics and history.

Whew! Heller joins SVA’s long list of luminaries that includes people named things like Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, George Lois, Paul Rand, Massimo Vignelli, and Paula Scher, who coined the phrase we want made into t-shirts: “Steven Heller has been graphic design’s biggest fan.”

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