Brooklyn Academy of Music Signage



Practice Area


BAM/Hardy Holzmann Pfeiffer


Project Vision

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is America’s oldest continuously operating performing arts center, earning a reputation as a venue for avant-garde productions. Pentagram Design created a graphic identity to support BAM’s Next Wave Festival, organizing layouts for posters, ads, invitations, and brochures around a motif of wide stripes. Typography was partially concealed to suggest something “coming over the horizon,” a visual metaphor for the festival’s focus on emerging talent. The graphic solution proved so successful that it ultimately became the identity of the institution itself. Pentagram also collaborated with architect Hugh Hardy in the renovation of the Opera House building, including the design of wayfinding signs, information kiosks, a donor wall, and signage to identify the building to the street. The designers extended the new graphic image to the building itself by using the typography on all new signage in the building.

Project Details
Moving across a Beaux Arts opera house lobby pediment, a laser-cut stainless steel donor panel, or up an exterior banner, type responds but remains consistently well handled. What appeals is the fluidity of the identity program across an important, growing institution.
Juror 1
Innovative engagement of supergraphic scale type and symbols allows the environment to maintain its character and design yet not be dominated by the scale of the design.
Juror 2
The type treatment throughout is independent and modern, yet shows complete respect (via white coloring, etc.) to the existing physical structure. Brilliant!
Juror 3
Design Team

Michael Bierut (Principal in Charge), Bob Stern, Tracey Cameron, Trish Solsaa

Design Firm



Hardy Holzmann Pfeiffer (architect)


Federal Sign