Often, I’ll sit at work and dream of traveling to libraries and archives around the world. A savvy traveler would have much to gain by adding libraries and repositories to their itinerary. This series will introduce you to great collections, hopefully including more than a few hidden gems. As my dear archivist friend Taz said, Wanderlist will be the Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations of library travel. No book unturned, no artifact undusted… let’s wander!
Pentagram Archives: London
Whether you are a budding designer or aesthetic zealot, the Pentagram archives in London might be your dream destination. The renowned design firm Pentagram was founded in 1972 in the UK. The collection includes four decades of work in brand identity, architecture, interiors, and products for some of the most prestigious organizations in the world and the archives likely adhere to the same high standards. If I could be hanging out there as I type this, I would.
If you’re not familiar with Pentagram’s design work, I’d like to point out one project which involved the archives of the New York Times. In addition to this impressive building facade, Pentagram created a program of environmental graphics for The Times’ 42nd Street building near Times Square. (Times Square is so named because The New York Times resided there in days of yore.) Pentagram created 800 unique signs for the interior spaces. Designers culled the archives of The Times for imagery that appropriately fits the purpose of each room or office. The images remind staff and visitors of the historic value of the newspaper. This project is a great example of using signage and archives to cultivate a positive work environment, plus it’s just sort of fun.
Pentagram’s 40 years in 3 minutes chronicles the history of the consultancy and was made by intertwining images from the London and New York Pentagram archives.