The secret papers of design legends

Design insiders around the world know the global design firm Pentagram because it’s been legendary — hugely influential, effortlessly cool — since almost the moment it opened its first office in London 35 years ago. Nondesigners know Pentagram’s work because it’s hard to glance anywhere without seeing something the firm’s designed (corporate identities for United Airlines, Citibank, Asprey, the Whitney Museum, the Public Theater; products for Nike; the Daily Show set; and on and on).

Over the years, Pentagram’s partners have been privately publishing a series of beautiful, quirky booklets about design. They’ve celebrated hidden-in-plain-view visual treasures such as fancy cigar papers, Chairman Mao kitsch, rural Australian mailboxes, and so-called tin tabernacles (see slide show, below).

The Pentagram Papers have always been distributed only to friends of Pentagram — but now, finally, they’ve been collected in a beautiful hardcover mass-market book of the same name.

To Pentagram, the whole world’s an art gallery. Welcome to it.

“>VIEW a slide show of “Tin Tabernacles and Other Buildings” from The Pentagram Papers

“>BUY The Pentagram Papers

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. The secret papers  of design legends