Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

Kit Hinrichs leaves Pentagram

October 3, 2009, 3:30 PM

1_Hinrichs_portrait

After Robert Brunner left Pentagram’s San Francisco office to start his own firm, Ammunition, this time is Kit Hinrichs‘ turn. You can read the press release here, on @Issue (where Kit Hinrichs is the Design Director). Kit’s profile on Pentagram Partners has already been taken down.

Pentagram in 1986

Pentagram in 1986

While Robert Brunner’s departure seemed to make a little more sense, as his studio seems to be focused more on industrial design than on communication and corporate design, Kit’s departure is not so clear. The press release doesn’t give any hints, and, as always in such cases, nobody involved will—we can only speculate what could possibly make you leave one of the most acclaimed (if not the most) companies in the world—and after 24 years, mind you. Has this been triggered by the recession? Is it a personal dispute? Is Mr. Colin Forbes‘ business model not working so well anymore? Or is it just the right time for a change for Mr. Hinrichs? We’ll never know for sure.

One thing I know, it makes me feel sad to learn about Mr. Kit’s departure—I don’t know why, maybe because Pentagram loses one of its own—but I also feel glad for him. I know very well how good it feels to try something new, especially after such a long time. It feels like being born again. Good luck to Mr. Hinrichs.

(second photo taken from Pentagram: The Compendium)

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Comments:

I wouldn’t read too much into this. Kit is 68 and I suspect he’s decided that if he wants to start a new studio that he can develop on his own terms, it’s better now than a few years from now when the whole hassle of setting up shop may be more than he wants to take on. This gives him the luxury of picking and choosing projects that appeal to him without being beholden to partners.

I think you’re right, Augustus. Retiring is not something to desire—as Mr. Glaser clearly explains—but doing more of the things you like most while you’re growing old surely is. I know very well that the every day work situations are far from perfect, and I don’t think Pentagram doesn’t have its share.

Thank you for your comment.

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