102-Week 5/6: Pocket Profiles


Pentagram is a design studio that specialises in multiple disciplines- from Arts and publishing to Banking and Finance, however the studio is all individually owned. Pentagram has 24 practicing designers and partners, they take on individual tasks or work together. Pentagram’s internal structure is actually quite unique as they are the only major design studio where the owners create their own work and also keep close client-business relationships. They are strong advocates for personal commitment to your designs along with having motivation for your work and the skills behind it.

Collectively, Pentagram’s portfolio consists of at least 5 decades worth of work from many types of industries and designs. One of my favorites from their Arts and Culture section is the brand identity work for ‘Riotous’ Theatre company by Pentagram partney Harry Pearce and his team.  This  project  involved  creating  a new  logo  for  the  company,  which they did by cutting out the letters of the company’s name and arranging them at different angles to achieve the perfect look.




This how the final design turned out;

I think this design is both simplistic but also very dramatic which is perfect for a contemporary theatre company. I also liked seeing their process through this project as I would have never thought to cut out lettering to better organise where the letters should go- helping the digital design process. This is something I might actually use in the future to better my own designs.




During Week 06, we were asked to watch an episode of the ‘Abstract’ series on Netflix and share our thoughts. I chose:

Ruth Carter- Costume Design

I chose this particular episode as it is another aspect of design i’m interested in and believe it can be used in many creative ways.

This episode centres around Ruth Carter, renowned film and TV costume designer – working in over 40 films. She is from Massachusetts in the United States and has made history for being the first black person to win an Oscar for costume design. She won the award in 2019 for her costume work for Black Panther- a box office hit, earning 1.34 billion dollars.

Ruth Carter actual started her career in college, trying to be an actress in theatre. However she never got roles and was placed mostly in the costume design section but from this she learned her strengths and skills as a designer. She continued doing theatre design in Los Angeles Theater Centre  and building up a repertoire of work until Spike Lee started to notice her. At first she didn’t know who Spike Lee was and wasn’t interested in what he was offering her as she was too focused on her own work. Eventually he got through to her and asked her to design the costumes for his second movie ‘School Daze’.  This movie became a success and with the help of her excellent costume work on that film she changed how mass media saw African Americans- showed them as real, relatable and understandable people, which even in the 70s was uncommon.



It’s clear that Ruth Carter has so much passion for what she does even years and years into the business. She puts so much effort into really researching and studying for what she’s designing for. If its a period piece she will go to the library and study books and poetry and anything she can find from that time, to not only bring out the historical accuracy but also the humanity of the characters she’s designingfor.

This is something that really inspires me even though I want to design in a different field, as just the clear love for what she does shines through and it’s something I really want to emulate with my own work. She goes the extra mile for her research which can be shown with how throughout and detail of her characters wardrobe. I feel costume design is usually unspoken of despite the depth it can bring to a show or film, it has the capability to really increase the standard of the media its in. Seeing how successful she became while staying motivated and working hard is something I really aspire to and I really enjoyed this documentary episode.



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