Friday, April 13, 2012

Michael Bierut: Seven Home Truths

Michael Bierut. Photo: Con Kennedy

Pentagram partner Michael Bierut spoke on the second day of the Offset 2012 in Dublin in March. His insightful, inspiring and entertaining presentation was structured around seven home truths which he had uncovered over the course of his design career at Pentagram.

I am posting his seven home truths here with visual references to each case study as an aide memoire for myself more than anything else. No further comment is necessary.



1 — There are no small problems. 
Official Palm Beach County ballot paper 2000. Photo: Wikipedia

2 — Work with what you have got.
Recycle if you can. Build upon what is there already. 
Saks Fifth Avenue brand identity and packaging
Saks Fifth Avenue brand identity and packaging. Photo: Saks Fifth Avenue

3 — Less is more (except when it isn’t).
Poster for the Yale School of Architecture
Poster for the Yale School of Architecture. Photo: Pentagram

4 — Without problems there would be no solutions. 
New York Times Building Exterior Signage
New York Times Building Exterior Signage. Photo: Pentagram

5 — If you can’t make a good idea work, maybe it is a bad idea. 
Museum of Arts and Design posters
Museum of Arts and Design posters. Photo: Pentagram

6 — The client is always (eventually) right. 
New World Symphony brand mark
New World Symphony brand mark. Photo: Pentagram

7 — Sometimes you just need to get the hell out of the way.
The Library Initiative, example interior murals. Photo: Pentagram