PEN American Center

Free Expression and Literature

“[They] balanced the depth of PEN’s 90-year history with emerging technologies and the younger audiences who use them. [And] the design solutions presented for our logo were exciting, innovative yet respectful of our past.”
 –Antonio Aiello, Director of Online Communications, Editor

Founded in 1922, PEN America is the world’s oldest and most prestigious literary and human rights organization. We directed and managed the complete redesign of their brand through PEN.org, their primary vehicle for mobilizing writers to defend freedom of expression.

We created an integrated brand identity that embraced literary content while clearly communicating PEN’s mission to a complex set of audiences: advocates, emerging and established writers, publishing professionals, press, and individual donors. Our collaboration has grown with the creation of PEN’s sister site for the World Voices Festival of International Literature, and will continue with the future creation of an online archive, which will make some of the greatest literary artifacts accessible for the first time.

Services

  • Branding
  • User Experience Design
  • Target Audience Assessment, IA
  • Interactive Event Experiences
  • Event Support + Production
  • Print + Fundraising Collateral
  • Drupal Development
  • Web Maintenance + Staff Training

Services

  • Branding
  • User Experience Design
  • Target Audience Assessment, IA
  • Interactive Event Experiences
  • Event Support + Production
  • Print + Fundraising Collateral
  • Drupal Development
  • Web Maintenance + Staff Training

Online Communities

We directed and managed the complete redesign of the award-winning PEN.org. The design approach was highly dependent on fine typographic design and hierarchy in order to give visual breathing space to both poetry and prose content while allowing the site to shift “visual gears” to activate PEN’s community in advocacy initiatives.

Interactive Spaces

A new online brand for an international literary community includes interactive social media events. Our twitter visualization is a mainstay at PEN’s annual gala and at special events such as Talking Transitions, a pioneering model of civic engagement during New York City’s 2013 mayoral election.

First Editions/Second Thoughts

PEN partnered with Christie’s auction house in New York to create the award-winning site for First Editions/Second Thoughts, an auction in support of PEN that gathered 75 of the most unique literary objects and seminal, first editions annotated by some of the greatest contemporary artists and literary figures of our time. Our online platform emphasizes the books with a clean elegance that shines on desktop and mobile online browsers. The auction raised $1million and will bolster the future work we do with PEN.

In 2015 First Editions/Second Thoughts was awarded a Best in Class Interactive Media Award in Arts and Culture with PEN American Center and Medium Rare Inc.