News / Graphic Design

Pentagram’s book on Conrad Shawcross’ Optic Cloak mirrors its architectural qualities


Pentagram: The Optic Cloak


Conrad Shawcross: The Optic Cloak

Marina Willer and her team at Pentagram have designed a book to launch The Optic Cloak by sculptor Conrad Shawcross, with a graphic identity that mirrors the structure’s architectural qualities.

The Optic Cloak is a new 160ft-high installation in London’s Greenwich Peninsula, created to conceal the flues of an energy centre. Inspired by camouflage in nature and used on dazzle ships, Conrad’s building design is wrapped in an undulating skin of aluminium triangles, which aims to use the moiré effect to “hypnotically blend” the structure into its environment.

In turn, the book uses black on black, with a foil type on matt paper, “emulating The Optic Cloak’s particular type of camouflage which makes the viewer question what they are seeing by hiding in plain sight” says the Pentagram design team. The font is Trade Gothic, “a typeface associated with shipping containers, tools and other embossed metal objects,” the designers continue, further linking the design with the industrial process behind the structure. The book was printed by Pureprint.

The book, together with an accompanying poster and film, explores the research, prototype and build process of The Optic Cloak being created.


Pentagram: The Optic Cloak book


Pentagram: The Optic Cloak book


Pentagram: The Optic Cloak book


Pentagram: The Optic Cloak book


Pentagram: The Optic Cloak book


Conrad Shawcross: The Optic Cloak for Greenwich Peninsula