Reopening with a Friendly Face

Neighborhood Now is a collaborative initiative from the Urban Design Forum and the Van Alen Institute, both of which work with New York City communities on how to reopen safely in an ongoing Covid environment. Pentagram has supported the initiative by creating a series of colorful, multilingual posters that businesses can use at no cost to communicate their specific Covid protocols.

Pentagram worked with the 82nd Street Partnership in Queens, one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse areas in the world. The posters had to communicate with as many people as possible. So in addition to being available in Arabic, Bengali, English, Spanish, and in versions with empty speech bubbles that business owners can fill with their own messaging in their own languages, the posters are populated with friendly characters created by illustrator Janny Ji. With no suggestions of race or gender, the characters are ideal ambassadors in a very diverse community.


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