Pentagram’s Paula Scher and associate partner Jeff Close have created a dynamic and adaptable identity for the new Poster House, set to open in New York in the autumn of 2018. Poster House will be New York’s first museum dedicated to presenting the impact, history and design of posters and posters alone. Through a combination of temporary exhibitions, a growing permanent collection, educational events and publications, Poster House will explore the impact of posters on society and culture treating them as both historical documents and methods of contemporary visual communication.
The identity, set in a custom typeface, uses the name of the museum as a moveable frame with the purpose of attempting the define the undefinable: a poster can be anything. Having previously looked at designs that incorporated shapes to form the letter “P” and typography that played with perspective, Scher decided to stick with her first idea – “usually the strongest,” – the moveable frame. The words Poster House are placed at the edges of any promotional material creating negative space between the typography that acts as an imagined poster. The negative space is the backbone of the identity and is as important as the type design becoming its own “graphic statement about what is possible.” The negative space can take any form: it can be tall, thin, short of fat making the identity incredibly versatile when it comes to implementing it across various platforms.
The typeface is made of geometric shapes and is trimmed along the bottom in order to suggest the layering of sniped posters or the crop of a full bleed design. The squatness of these shapes is to allow for full legibility even when the letters are cut off. The words will remain either black or white as they need to stand out but also sit next to the designs of so many different posters.
Poster House is due to open in New York in the autumn on 2018.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.