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Four (+1) Studios.

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Ann Pendleton-Jullian is the director of the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University, and a very old friend and colleague. We’ve been working with her on websites, papers and other materials exploring design and education. Just published: Four (+1) Studios: 7 Papers and an Epilogue. Ann was an enthusiastic partner and involved in every detail of the design — the book is truly a rich collaboration. The diagrams come from Ann’s ideas about the space and temporality of the architectural studio, and they were originally sketched by hand; they’re some of the most complex (and beautiful) conceptual visualizations that we’ve ever produced.
You can purchase the book on Amazon.

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Mail model.

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Our recent direct mail work for the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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Springscape

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A hot violet postcard press check for MAS.

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Rem, Petra and Bob.

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Here’s our profile piece for OMA’s Paul Milstein Hall at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning. The over-sized magazine-ish thing wrapped in an Astrobright Gamma Green 65 lb. dust-jacket with white foil-stamp presents the building in context, with its incredible Dutch-American team: Rem Koolhaas, Robert Silman and Petra Blaisse. The heavy kraftpaper enclosure is screened with opaque white ink.
Lovingly crafted by Monroe Litho in Rochester, NY.

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A modular system has been devised.

Re-creations of the cover and a few pages from Unimark’s 1970 masterpiece, the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual.
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Letter spacing / Page 10 (larger)
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Helvetica and the New York City Subway System / Paul Shaw
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Cover (larger)
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Type face / Page 4 — grid (larger)
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Type face / Page 4 (larger)
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The AIGA talk a few nights ago got me thinking about the 1970 NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual that’s supposedly buried somewhere here in our office. In its absence I found myself coming back to page 46 of Paul Shaw’s book, totally in love with Vignelli’s presentation, wishing for the real thing. Basic lessons in modern typography — letterforms, spacing, sizing, grid. And the insane kerning chart on page 10 that pre-dates “shift-option-]” by thirty years.
Then I had the totally crazy idea to reverse engineer the grid and create one of the pages in Illustrator. I tried not to question it — half dare, half therapeutic exercise, I quickly set up “Type face / Page 4″ and kept going.
It’s not like I don’t have anything better to do — we’re really busy here at Soulellis Studio. Spending a day engulfed in the study of something you love — for no other reason but to see what you’ll find — is a luxury I can never afford. But I was able to get away with it today and it slowed my heart rate and I got a chance to absorb something I thought I knew in a totally different way. Highly recommended.

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The tenth poster.

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Spring in Ithaca: Lise Anne Couture, Shayne O’Neil, Laurie Hawkinson, Toshiko Mori, Petra Blaisse, Rem Koolhaas.
This is our tenth poster for Cornell University AAP (College of Architecture, Art and Planning). We began with this one in Spring 2006 — pure typographic play. Two deans later we’re still exploring a single theme that’s been at the core of every one of the ten: mapping. Creating a system within the boundaries of a single printed sheet and letting the information play itself out according to the set of rules (color, grid, typography, order).
Maybe it’s time for a little book or website? The next post will highlight all ten as a set.

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Cool card / hot card.

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Sometimes the quickest projects — the ones that take hours, not months — turn out the best. Of course the trick is figuring out how to make even the months-long projects look simple, but that’s another discussion.
I absolutely love these two cards. If you got our book then you got one of our “TWENTY TEN” cards. Continuing our tradition of visiting the letterpress shop once a year, this was designed and hand-crafted by Erik. And for the first time, we actually set the design in metal type (printed on 110lb. Crane’s Lettra).
Matt Carbone is a super-talented architectural photographer and it was great working with him on a simple business card. We were able to keep this one pure and the result is hot.

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The book.

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As promised, we gave away a few copies of this self-published book of our work on Twitter and I’ll be mailing those out this week. Thanks to everyone who responded — wonderful to know there’s some interest in what we do here on 17th Street.
I wish I could give away more but these fun books, designed by Erik and myself, are expensive! They’re printed on-demand by Lulu.com and we pay for that luxury (320 pages, one at a time, when you want it, no more / no less). I looked into an actual print run of 1,000 copies and while the price per book would have been more reasonable the investment was not. If you absolutely must have one send me a note and we’ll work something out.
But why not just download it? It’s free!

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Hello, goodbye.

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We designed a new logo for Urban Center Books earlier this year as part of our ongoing work for the Municipal Art Society of New York. You’ll find it on bags, bookmarks and on the spine of the new book Unpacking My Library, just published by Yale (book design by Pentagram).
The much-loved architecture and design book store, considered to be one of the best of its kind in the US, is closing in January. MAS is moving to West 57 Street and until new retail space is found the book store will be online only. Anyone who has browsed this place in person knows how much it will be missed. Can’t wait to see it reborn in 2010.

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Pantone 814

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Our seventh Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning alumni newsletter, featuring Pantone 814 purple.