Eleven Times Square

Eleven times Square

Fourth in a series of major Times Square Office signage and wayfinding programs we have completed, a fifty-foot illuminated beacon identifies FXFowle’s Eleven Times Square. A comprehensive signage program including this beacon and the Subway station on 42nd Street are all part of this new development. Despite its Times Square address, it actually sits on Eighth Avenue immediately north of the New York Times building. See more details in our Projects section.

TEDx San Miguel de Allende

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This year’s TEDx in San Miguel was packed to the gills, and predominantly with young people, many of them local students. Here, Xavier Fux speaks of Urban Agriculture as a promising strategy for the new Millennium. Other contributors included Sara Hoch, who has successfully dedicated herself to the revival of the Mexican film industry, and, as Director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival, is responsible for an extensive new headquarters for GIFF here in San Miguel, construction of which will begin in January, and which will include two auditoriums and extensive film, video, and sound production and post-produchtion facilities.

Help Japan

W+K Studio is donating all of the profits of their Help Japan Poster for relief support. Buy one today.

St. Paul’s, St. Paul’s

Some interesting illuminations in London photographed on my visit there with Ben this month. The inset shows St. Pauls in Covent Garden, known as the actor’s church – the Christmas tree silhouette, projected from the market building, is a great example of low-cost high-visibility environmental graphic design. When I was a student at the AA in the late 50’s, and when this was a real market, we often used to visit an all-night pie stall which lived on the right of the church entrance under the stained-glass window. The other image shows the more well known St. Pauls in the background, behind the National Theatre on the South Bank, whose lighting changes color from day to day. All different and festive examples of creative lighting design.

About People

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We recently completed this branding program, in association with DK Holland, for the Morningside Center for Social Responsisbility; a wonderful group who, among other things, foster conflict resolution in our school system. The use of an anthropomorphic M in the mark, and silhouettes in their outreach materials, underlines their core mission. Shown here are boxes for teaching aids for a range of grades, their website, and a bookmark.

Rancho Mirage Museum Completed

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The first phase of our work at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert project is now completed. The aluminum shafts display the Museum’s logotype, which assembles itself visually on the pylons as you enter the site. The mural (described in the entry for 23 January, below) features 4,000 tiles to which donors portraits are continually being added, eventually aggregating into an image representing the supporting community and America’s diversity. Due to the success of the project, MGA Partners, who are the architects of this superb building, are now working on the extension of the Museum.

Children-Friendly Acessible Hospital Signs

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We recently completed this sign system for a Children’s Hospital using photo pictograms for both wayfinding and destination signs to create an accessible and children friendly environment. The system builds on our work with Lighthouse International in New York and features a tactile ledge which is easily located by sight-impaired users, and a new typeface developed by our studio to facilitate tactile reading. Both the sign system and typeface were featured in Roger Whitehouse’s keynote presentation to the International Conference on Universal Design in Kyoto in November.

Ozella’s Code. A Front Page Controversy

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In today’s Times, it is reported that part of the extensive graphics we have designed for the new monument being constructed at Frederick Douglass Circle, have become the center of a heated controversy. Beneath an eight-foot-tall sculpture of Douglass, by Gabriel Koren, the plans call for a huge quilt in granite, by Algernon Miller, who designed the memorial site, each geometrical element supposedly part of a secret code sewn into family quilts and used along the Underground Railroad to aid slaves in their escape North to freedom. As part of the project, we had prepared a design for a bronze and colored enamel plaque displaying this. Unfortunately, it appears that the basis for this theory, known as Ozella’s Code, published in the book Hidden in Plain View, by Jacqueline Tobin, and much publicized on the Oprah Winfrey show, is now being challenged as potentially bogus. You can read the full account via the Times link above. In the meantime, I guess we better dust off our computer files, and wait for further developments.

Some Things Never Change

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Ten years ago, when we worked on the graphics with Fox & Fowle (now FXFowle) for their new Subway station in Times Square at Broadway and 42nd Street, we had the Times Square Brewery and a half-size Concorde on our shoulders. Today, we have an entire 50 storey tower and some nifty Target advertising. In fact, the graphics were recreated for the new building replicating the original design. I think that means our client may be pleased with what we came up with. We are proud to say that it appears that the Municipal Art Society were, as the signage has been honored with their blue ribbon award. More information can be seen on our project pages.

Dream Library “AlphaPets”

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As part of the Dream Library Project, a series of mini-libraries for the New York Public School System, sponsored by McGraw-Hill and in association with Helpern Architects, we developed a series of animal forms created entirely out of typographic characters. These AlphaPets (we have about thirty to date) are designed to act as a learning stimulus for young schoolchildren and are intended to be installed on hanging ceiling baffles and other components within the library spaces: a low-cost solution for creating a stimulating learning environment. Designers Saki Tanaka and Millie Lin in our studio were responsible for most of these and for pretending that it was hard work.