A new direction for Yale School of Architecture

After 18 years of designing posters for the Yale School of Architecture, Pentagram partner Michael Bierut is taking a different tack. Check out the new look below:

Originally the project aimed to mirror the architectural approach of the previous dean, Robert Stern. For the previous 18 years, this made for a hugely varied series with no consistent typeface where the only constant was that they were black ink on white paper.

Then architect Deborah Berke took over as the school’s first woman dean, and wanted to signal change and a new direction.

Michael was tasked with conveying this in the posters, and says the introduction of colour was his immediate first thought. 

Another big change was that Deborah wanted to focus less on the name of the school, and more about the people involved in the events, so there was more typography. So in collaboration with Laitsz Ho, a designer at Pentagram, they introduced standard fonts for the first time: Eesti from Grilli Type, and Pitch from Klim Type Foundry. As for the logotype, this uses the official Yale typeface by Matthew Carter and is the only design constant.

As a lover of typographic design, the boldness of these new posters pleases me no end. They're clean and minimalistic and allows the message these poster are conveying to leap out without the need for any additional visual clutter. Most educational institutions would shy away from such an approach with the insistence of inclusion of imagery of their students (or 'learners' as they now insist on calling them) so we applaud Yale School of Architecture for 'breaking from the norm'.