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Identity and package design for the Isaac Mizrahi Shop (23 East 63rd Street, New York).

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Jeff Stark

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi women’s collection (Fall 2009)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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Identity for Paper Magazine

In 2005 we re-designed Paper magazine, from top to bottom, bringing in new content, departments, and a slew of contributors. The first task was to standardize the masthead, and settle on something the company could live with for a very long time. After months of research and experiments we decided a custom, italic version of Trade Gothic condensed was right: it’s utilitarian and simple, and the forward gesture of the italic gave it a zing, reminiscent of some sort of trashy but intoxicating European tabloid. We wanted visual depth to the logo, and the flexibility to change it every month, so instead of the canned, photoshop transparencies that most magazines were using at the time, we decided to go back to basics, using a dot pattern. The dot pattern was a nod to the mass production process of magazine printing, and like a woven fabric it allowed us to create infinite configurations, which somehow made each issue more exciting for us to design and adapt to the cover subject, all the while making each issue a collectable little gem. The dates on the cover of each issue were hand-lettered which acted as a warm and friendly juxtaposition to the snappy design of the masthead.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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Design of “The Elements of Style” by Strunk, White, and Kalman (Penguin Press, 2005)

Perhaps part of Strunk and White’s intent was a useful manual of usage and style, and they did this in almost militant fashion (but not without their own clever humor), it was Maira’s idea to illustrate all this, and it was our job to keep one eye on the usefulness, and serve Maira’s wondrous and unorthodox approach to telling stories.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Maira Kalman

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CD and album design for Wilco’s “A ghost is born”

During the making of The Wilco Book, the band approached us to design their forthcoming album. The idea of the egg came to us shortly after the title for the album was decided. Among other reasons, we love the egg in general because it’s the perfect design object, so we were very happy to use it in this unexpected context. Other parts of the design, including panels of the cd, and eventually the 12 inch vinyl edition, all stemmed from the original concept of the egg as the iconic and defining image. The design for this album won us our first Grammy award (best package design).

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith with Dan Nadel
Photography: Michael Schmelling

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In May 2009 I started my own company devoted to being outside and making things with our hands. Our first product was an axe and we have since branched out into numerous other products and projects. For more information please visit us at Best Made Co.

Cover design of “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver (Vintage Books)

This is the first cover we have designed for a book of fiction. It also happens that Carver has been a big influence on Peter, going all the way back to art school drawing class. Stay tuned for much more: in the coming months we will redesign the entire Raymond Carver catalog.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

Photography: Todd Hido

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Rebranding America for Paper Magazine . Paper invited 15 of the best visual communicators to redefine the image of America. Our explanation is as follows:

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."

President Barack Obama, inaugural remarks (January 20, 2009)

New York Times article

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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Front and back letterpressed invitation to Isaac Mizrahi Women’s collection, Fall 2009.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Cover design of “The Toothpick” by Henry Petroski (Vintage Books, 2008)

We wanted a design for Petroski’s exhaustive history of the toothpick to be as simple and elegant as the subject matter itself. No gums were injured in the making of this cover.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Album and cd package design of Stones World, Tim Ries

The top two things on every designer’s list of things to do are: 1) design a Rolling Stones album, and 2) design a music package with that beautiful map iconography they have drooled over since they were in 4th grade geography. This summer we crosed both those off our list (somewhat). We worked closely with Tim Ries (the pianist and sax player of The Rolling Stones) on his expansive orchestration of world music tributes to Stones songs. Tim assembled a fifty plus cast of musicians from around the world (including Mick, Keith, Charlie, and Ronnie), and we packaged the lavish double cd featuring original artwork by Ronnie Wood, and an array of map iconography by us.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi women’s collection (Spring 2009)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Front and back letterpressed invitation to Isaac Mizrahi Women’s collection, Spring 2009.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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The Glass Box, Nonesuch (September 2008)

A seamless cube-shaped box encloses the aptly-named “Glass Box,” a 10-disc retrospective of compositions from Philip Glass’s groundbreaking career. Each side of the cube portrays images of the composer as rendered by the artists Chuck Close, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Francesco Clemente and Robert Wilson. Inside this boxed set are 10 discs (individually packaged in digipaks with cover artworks selected by Chuck Close) and a 192-page booklet containing extensive liner notes, archival photos, performance credits, librettos, and appreciations. Our design for the “Glass Box” utilizes the box form as a primary motif that is deployed consistently, repetitively and obsessively throughout the entire package, in effect paralleling the composer’s own distinctive aesthetic.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Illustration for Clive Thompson’s column in Wired Magazine (May 2008)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes, Jeff Stark

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Book cover design for The Story of Psychology by Morton Hunt. (Vintage Books)
The cover of the enduring bible of psychology needed a simple and timeless design worthy of the book’s exhaustive scope, and popularity.

“Love is a quicksilver word; though you see plainly where it is,
you have only to put your finger on it to find that it is not
there but someplace else.” —Morton Hunt

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Album and cd package design of Mothertongue by Nico Muhly.

Nico came to us with the title, and our inclination—which ended up the solution—was a mouth. We were influenced by a heart-stopping Erwin Blumenfeld photograph. As we designed, we stared into the abyss of the open mouth long enough to realize that the mouth is a channel, constantly tuned into an immeasurable quantity of words, in immeasurable configurations: anything can come out of it.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes
Photography: Michael Schmelling

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Exhibit design for Manhattan Noon at The Museum of the City of New York.

The exhibit which featured photography by Gus Powell, and poems by Frank O’Hara, was designed so that viewers could take it with them: Over 400,000 individual sheets were printed with any 12 of O’Hara’s poems, then bound to the walls in pads, anchored with bold colored backings, evocative of some of the common New York city street colors (ie- taxi cab yellow).

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes
Photography: Gus Powell

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On-line identity for “watchisaac.com”, Isaac Mizrahi

A ribbon is the premise for the identity of Isaac’s webisodes, and it seemed right because he dispenses advice on style, relationships, food, sex and life, all of which (we think) add up to a gift that should come tied in a ribbon. Taking it one step further we designed the opening screen of the quicktime player as if it was a gift, wrapped up in ribbon.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi women’s collection (Fall 2008)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi Men’s collection, Fall 2008.

During the shooting of Isaac’s Men’s collection for Fall 2008 Michael Schmelling captured this candid and somewhat suggestive moment, all of which seemed perfect for the cover image.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes
Photography: Michael Schmelling

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Peter Buchanan-Smith, New York, December 2007

Starting with this volume, every December we make little books for our clients, families, and friends. This issue had a Japanese brush, with actual white house paint, on the cover.

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Isaac Mizrahi’s holiday card, 2007

Wiser words were never letterpressed on to a greeting card.

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Creative direction for Paper Magazine (2005-2008), select covers

In 2005 Peter Buchanan-Smith was hired to be only the fourth creative director of the 20 year old, legendary beacon of downtown style and culture, Paper magazine. For three months in early 2005 he worked closely with Kim Hastreiter, David Hershkovitz, and the Paper editorial and art departments to define a more cogent mission and based on that they came up with an entirely new look. The results of the redesign—which were launched in the May 2005 design issue—were met with rave reviews (Advertising Age named the September 2006 issue one of the ten best magazine covers of the year). Along with the redesign, he also developed ideas for new content and departments, and revamped the photo department, bringing in a new roster of up and comers (including Cass Bird, Jason Frank Rothenberg, Danielle Levitt, and Michael Schmelling) and stable of established photographers (including Richard Burbridge, Larry Clark, Bob Richardson, and Ellen Von Unwerth). For the next three years he continued to hone the design, and working closely with the staff, helped Paper become a more cohesive brand and alluring magazine, all the while reaching a wider audience.

Photography (top to bottom): Danielle Levitt, Marcelo Krasilcic, Richard Burbridge, Cass Bird, Elinor Carucci.

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Mailing label design for Isaac Mizrahi’s Spring 2008 collection

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“Portraits of Glass” booklet, Philip Glass

Philip Glass approached us to find ways to promote a flurry of new activity, performances, and recordings. For that we came up with the idea of a small book that would tell his story through five of the most iconic portraits of Glass, portraits by Chuck Close, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibowitz, and Francesco Clemente. Printed on the cover of the book is a matrix of letters, and on a vinyl sleeve that, when removed, sends the type into motion.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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On-line identity for Isaac Mizrahi at ivillage.com

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, M.C. Chang

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi Women’s collection, Fall 2008.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes
Photography: Jason Frank Rothenberg

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Jacquard pattern design for Isaac Mizrahi for Target.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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The Isaac Mizrahi studio “HI” lobby

Messages can come in the most concealed or the most obvious of places. When guests and employees walk out of the elevator into the Isaac Mizrahi lobby, they are greeted by a giant “HI”, disguised as part of his logo which we cropped from the original Mizrahi logo (designed by M & Co.). We added the color, and scale, repeating it as big as 12 feet, and as small as 3 inches, covering the 80 foot entrance wall.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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“Spring is the new Fall” t-shirt design for Isaac Mizrahi

Isaac came up with idea of dressing his models backstage before the presentation of his Fall 2007 collection in t-shirts with a slogan that couldn’t have been more applicable (or not).

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith
Photography: Jason Frank Rothenberg

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Front and back holiday postcard for Paper magazine

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Rejected design for back, spine, and front of Jeff Tweedy’s solo dvd

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Identity for Isaac Mizrahi / S. Harris (fabrics)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

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Paper Magazine, style issue (September 2006)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith
Photography: Richard Burbridge, Cass Bird, Elinor Carucci

Styling / make-up: Kabuki
Illustration: Jonathon Rosen

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Isaac’s Style Book (volume 1 & 2)

In 2006 we joined forces with Isaac Mizrahi to make his first magazine. Isaac’s Style Book is a very intimate and thoughtful glimpse into the world of Isaac. We worked closely with Isaac to develop content, which included stunning photographs by Jason Frank Rothenberg, Elinor Carucci, Sylvia Plachy, and Joel Meyerowitz, and texts by David Rakoff, Oliver Schwaner-Albright, Nathan Englander and Amanda Fortini. Our studio oversaw the creative direction, design, production, and project management of Isaac’s Style Book.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes, Laura Victore, Jillian Parisi
Photography: Jason Frank Rothenberg

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Identity and label design for Isaac Mizrahi at Fairweather

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith and Laura Victore

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Rejected designs for the back, spine, and front cover of Lapham’s Quarterly

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi Men’s collection, Spring 2007

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Josef Reyes

Photography: Michael Schmelling

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi Women’s collection, Spring 2007.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Laura Victore

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Poster design of the American Institute of Graphic Art New York chapter’s Small Talk series.

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Book design of Beyond by Michael Benson

For six months we worked closely with Benson to tell the story of our solar system, through the eyes of space probes. We are proud to say that only one picture in the book was taken by a human.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith


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Tissue for Isaac Mizrahi footwear

Using the logo originally designed by M&Co., we scaled it into 3 different sizes (s,m,l) and created a geometric repeating pattern that printed black on black.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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CD package design for the re-release of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne.

David Byrne and Brian Eno approached us to re-design their seminal album from 1981 (original cover design by Peter Saville). Through the course of our many attempts at getting it right, we repeatedly ran the original cover through various photoshop filters and unknowingly stumbled onto something: which in the end harks back to the original design, all the while putting the new package in context. David Byrne perhaps put it more elegantly:

“I talked to Peter Buchanan-Smith, who designed the re release CD package, about either including or referencing the original album cover rather than coming up with something entirely new. This is the marketing man in me speaking- I imagined that a person who had seen the original cover would have an idea what they were looking for when seeking out a re release, so a completely unrelated image would throw them off the scent. Peter, as a creative type, didn’t feel comfortable simply reproducing Peter Saville’s original layout over Brian’s video photo, so he came up with a way of referencing the original obliquely. He took the original and digitally manipulated it, while retaining all the original colors- he smeared it horizontally (which was used), twisted it into vortexes and made it all radiate from the center. Surprisingly, one still had a kind of vestigial sense of the original cover in all of these versions.“–David Byrne

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi Women’s collection, Fall 2006.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Laura Victore

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Look book design for Isaac Mizrahi Men’s collection, Fall 2006.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Laura Victore

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img_7232.jpgPoster for The Citizen’s Band Trepanning Opera, Deitch Projects, Miami Beach 2005.

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Programs for The Elements of Style opera at The New York Public Library

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Maira Kalman

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12″ vinyl package design for Wilco’s A ghost is born

Photography: Michael Schmelling

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Fresh Dialogue 4

 

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Cover design of “A Shortcut Through Time” by George Johnson (Vintage Books, 2004)

Coming to this final solution was as close as we’ve ever felt to striking gold. What made it all the more special was that the author and editors at Vintage saw the merits of this idea, and were brave enough to go for it.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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Cover design of “The Vanishing Voter” by Thomas E. Patterson (Vintage Books, 2003)

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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RSVP card to our friend Pete and Emma’s wedding

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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The Ganzfeld promotional booklet

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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Invitation to a book signing of The Ganzfeld 2 at the Museum of Modern Art

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

nyt6_highres_web.jpgIllustration for The New York Times Op-Ed page, July 19 2001

I had the pleasure of being the art director of the New York Times Op-Ed page from 2000-2002. Above is an illustration for the obituary of the great Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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“Speck”, by Peter Buchanan-Smith (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001).

“Blake taught us if the doors of perception were cleansed, we might see the world as it is: Infinite. Peter Buchanan-Smith and his cohorts (in Speck) have been propounding something perhaps even more marvelous: The infinite potential in every single bit, and the infinite variety, in the human capacity for marvel and astonishment.”
— Lawrence Weshler

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

Speck movie

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Autobiographies at 50, Richard Kostelanetz

For about 2 years we worked with Richard on this expansive, unconventional autobiography.

Design: Peter Buchanan-Smith

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