Pentagram was asked by the Robin Hood Foundation  (targeting poverty in New York City) to contribute to an effort to build new school libraries in elementary schools in 5 boroughs in New York.  Architects would design the spaces, private companies would donate books, Pentagram would provide graphic design, wayfinding, signage and a brand that would unify all the sites. 

The result is a dynamic, unique space that is meant to inspire kids and make reading fun.  Murals were painted in the space between the ceiling and the book shelves – sometimes up to 6′ high, by the likes of Stefan Sagmeister , Maira Kalman, Yuko Shimizu among others. The Pentagram team paired the right artist with each library, acted as creative directors and co-ordinated the production with architect Richard Lewis.

“Working with budgets that were — to say the least — modest, Esquer, Kalman, Niemann, Sagmeister, Shimizu and Wilkin created works of art that will entertain and inspire schoolchildren for years. “Each of the designers and illustrators we worked with clearly approached this project as a labor of love, and it shows,” says Michael Bierut, Pentagram.