Post 2 Crystal Spencer -Logographic Design-Michael Bierut

Posted: March 19, 2012 by crystalspencer30 in Uncategorized

   ‘The Big Conference’

The ‘BIG” logo, designed by Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of Pentagram, plays on the name of the conference by giving a double meaning to the word big. But the design has been very controversial with fans.

To completely understand the controversy, one has to understand that the name Big Ten is a misnomer. Since 1987 the conference has actually included eleven teams, the previous logo gave a nod to the discrepancy by hiding the number 11 in the negative space around the “T”.  

Bierut and Gericke adjusted the typeface for the letters “I” and “G”, they hid the number 10 in the word, putting the conference’s entire name in three letters. Only two colours have been used, big bold and very legible typeface and a serif with a tweak to accommodate their idea.

‘The Library Initiative’

For the past nine years, Michael Bierut has led Pentagram’s work on the ‘Library Initiative’. Pentagram were responisble for creating signage, wayfinding, and the Library logo.


“We were trying, on a corny and simple level, to say ‘this is a library with a surprise inside,’

Alyssa Walker said his work is ‘Smart, bold, blissfully on target. ‘


‘MAD’ Logo

The Museum Of Arts and Design needed a new graphic identity and so Michael Bierut and Joe Marianek created the acronym MAD and also designed Typeface, Collateral, Exhibition Catalogs, Products, and Advertising for the Museum.

The geometric-based mark reflects the circles and squares present in the building’s shape; its location, on Columbus Circle; and the building’s iconic “lollipop” columns retained in the redesign. Red can mean angry which gos with the word ‘Mad’

He started with the three-letter logo and then Joe Marianek drew out an entire alphabet based on those three letters.



On ‘Bobbys Burger Palace’

Designed by Michael Bierut and Joe Marianek, the identity makes “burger” the tasty center of a logotype sandwich that has been blessed with an even number of letters in each word, set in a customized version of Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Knockout font. The bright colors match Flay’s bold flavors, Orange for the burger. red for the meat in the middle and green for the lettuce.

Michael Bierut and Joe Marianek have created a handy color chart to illustrate the various levels of cooking. The diagram is part of the identity we designed for the restaurant.



‘The New World Symphony’

Beiruts assignment for the ‘New World Symphony’ was to create a new logo as it was just about to open at a new location in Miami. He had the idea to use two different type faces, the ‘N’ represented the classical and the ‘W’ represented the modern.

He initially wanted to combine these two letters and write out the full name, this idea evolved and next he decided to try and overlap the three letters, crop them and put them into a box to create interesting shapes and negative spaces. Eventually Beirut was inspired by wavelengths of sound and the continuous line that is created by the gesture of a conductors baton, he created the three letters ‘NWS” out of a continuous line which is reminiscent of a sound wavelength and suggestive of music.

The finishing touches were to cut the continuous line at various points to lead the viewer to recognise the Initials quicker.



‘The North Carolina Museum Of Art’

Pentagram was asked to create a new signage and wayfinding program as well as a new graphic identity that would reflect the boldness of the North Caroliner Museum Of Arts new building transformation.

                         The Museums previous identity…         

They developed a custom alphabet based on the expansion building’s most distinctive architectural feature: the oval-shaped skylights that will bring light into all the new gallery spaces. “The distinctive form of these light wells not only contrast so beautifully with the right angles of Tom Phifer’s expansion building, but also evoke the natural world of the park beyond the museum walls.

The light wells inspired the shape of the identity’s letterforms.

The distinctive new look is arresting at first, Bierut admits, especially compared with its previous, much more anonymous, identity. “But this is the year that the North Carolina Museum of Art is going to surprise people.”


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