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The Pursuit of Happiness

Philadelphia PA

“I am usually rather bored with definitions. Happiness, however, is such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down.” So says Stefan Sagmeister in explaining the derivation of his “Happy Show.” The show is now appearing at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia through August 12 before moving on to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The Happy Show offers visitors the experience of walking into the Austrian designer’s prolific mind as he pursues happiness via his three favored approaches: meditation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering pharmaceuticals. Centered around Sagmeister’s ten-year exploration of happiness, the exhibition presents typographic investigations of a series of maxims, or rules to live by, originally culled from Sagmeister’s diary, expressed in a variety of imaginative and interactive forms. Included as part of the exhibition is a 12-minute clip of the “Happy Film,” an exploration of whether it is possible to train the mind to be happy.


A Neighborhood Strategy for UDub

Seattle WA

When is a sign more than just a sign? When an urban campus occupies 643 acres of green sloping landscaping, hosts 500 buildings in architectural styles ranging from campus gothic to contemporary, and welcomes more than 40,000 students, faculty and visitors a day, it’s pretty easy to imagine a student, parent, new faculty member or visitor standing in front of a map, scratching his head and wondering where the heck he is. Michael Courtney Design took this into account when asked to develop a Master Plan for environmental graphics for the University of Washington, a public ivy and one of the largest universities on the West Coast. The plan includes directories that focus on “neighborhoods,” enabling visitors to drill down to the locations they want, and encouraging students and faculty to become familiar with the campus a little at a time. New map design communicates this strategy and translates across mediums (e.g. directories, print publications and mobile applications), and landmarks greet visitors at key entrances providing unique picture taking opportunities. Of this design thinking, designer Michael Courtney says: “If you follow the right signs, you'll get there.”


Nothing But Nets For JAY-Z

Brooklyn NY

The Brooklyn Nets have introduced a black and white scheme and logos as the team relocates from New Jersey to Brookly for the upcoming NBA season. Created by JAY-Z, the brand identity incorporates the color palette of the old New York subway signage system, including a “RollSign” typeface. The treatment celebrates the heritage of the city by drawing upon familiar signage from when Brooklyn last had its own major professional team, the long-mourned Dodgers, in 1957. The identity features two primary logos: one with a bold shield shape whose circular portion incorporates a ‘B’ inside a basketball; and the other of a basketball with a ‘B’ inside, along with a surrounding ‘Brooklyn New York’ mark. Says team CEO Brett Yormark: “Our black and white colors speak to Brooklyn’s strong traditions and grittiness and convey an uncompromising confidence ... who better to design [the identity] than one of the world’s top tastemakers and Brooklyn’s own JAY-Z.”


SPD Names Magazine of Year

New York NY

The Society of Publication Designers has named Bloomberg Businessweek as its “Magazine of the Year.” The magazine has had a remarkable turnaround since its purchase by Bloomberg LLP three years ago when it was left nearly for dead. Finalists for the title were TIME, GQ, Lotus, New York, Port, and IL–Intelligence in Lifestyle. The Bloomberg Businessweek graphics group is led by Creative Director Richard Turley, while the team includes Design Director Cynthia Hoffman; Art Director Robert Vargas; Designers Shawn Hasto, Chandra Illick, Maayan Pearl, Lee Wilson; Director of Photography David Carthas; Graphics Director Jennifer Daniel; and Graphic Designers Evan Applegate and Kenton Powell. Judging for the print competition in the SPD’s 47th competition was led by Pentagram’s Luke Hayman, MagCulture, and Creative Director Turley of the aforemetioned Bloomberg Businessweek.


Donkeys and Elephants As Pigs

London UK

Many Americans are pissed off at both political parties in general. For Oxfam America, the anger is specifically at the hunger games each is playing with food aid. A recent advertising campaign, created by Hill Holliday, USA, takes a non-partisan position against the stubborn donkeys and elephants who fill the pockets of special interest groups when they should be helping to feed starving people. The campaign features a darkly photographed, highly indulgent costume party. Copy implores: “Tell Washington To Stop Playing Games With Food Aid.” Credits at Hill Holliday go to Chief Creative Officer Lance Jensen, Creative Director Rob Rich, Art Director Rafael Segri, Copywriter Ben Huser; and Photographer Timothy Saccenti.


Safety Is King

Lafayette CO

A series of posters by Creative Alliance is helping Global Aerospace, Inc. make its aviation safety program as engaging and memorable as possible to an audience of aviation professionals inundated with information. The Colorado-based branding and public relations firm used a 1960s-era movie poster style as inspiration for four posters promoting Planning, Prevention, Response and Recovery. All four posters leverage the theme of a chess match — an apt metaphor for the strategic and tactical challenges that flight departments face in keeping safety a top priority.