Pentagram and DCL (Design Communications Ltd.) collaborated on a monument to the popular Mad Men television series and its protagonist, ad man Don Draper, to coincide with the show's final season.
AMC unveiled the installation as a special commemoration of the impact the show has had on New York. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut, and Emily Oberman, the monument is a bench that features an iconic graphic silhouette of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence. Pentagram project coordinator Julia Lindpainter worked closely with AMC and DCL to manage the design’s execution.
In seven seasons, the show has charted Draper's rise during the Golden Age of advertising in 1960s New York. Appropriately, the bench is located outside the Time & Life Building, the fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (changed to Sterling Cooper & Partners in the sixth season), where Draper and fellow characters Roger Sterling, Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway, and Peter Campbell work in the series. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, and John Slattery were on hand for the sculpture’s unveiling.
The installation coincides with the show’s final seven episodes, which kick off on Sunday, April 5. The bench will be on display in the Time & Life Building Plaza at 1271 Avenue of the Americas (between 50th and 51st Streets) for fans and passersby to enjoy through the summer.
Fabricated of just two pieces, the 12-foot-long bench combines a ½-inch-thick rolled steel plate seat and back, balanced on a 10-foot-long cast concrete base. Don’s silhouette is cut from the seat, which has a powder-coated black finish with white painted graphic elements. The concrete base color was selected to complement the existing plaza paving pattern.