Woody Pirtle, American
Woody Pirtle established Pirtle Design in Dallas, Texas in 1978.
Over the next 10 years the firm produced some of the most cele-
brated graphic design work of the decade. During that period, the
firm created identity programs and marketing materials for Baylor
University Medical Center, The Dallas Museum of Art, TGI Friday’s,
Dallas Opera, Diamond Shamrock Corporation, National Gypsum,
Centex Homes, Gerald D. Hines Interests, Simpson Paper Company
and NCR, to name a few.
In 1988 Woody merged Pirtle Design with Pentagram, the international
design consultancy founded in London in 1972. For 18 years Woody
was a partner in the New York office of Pentagram and worked on some
of the firm’s most prestigious projects, for many of its A-list clients.
Between 1988 and 2005, Woody and the office of Pentagram produced
work for Brown-Forman, Bacardi Global Brands, Flying Fish Brewing
Company, Watch City Brewing Company, Murray’s Cheese, Really Cool
Foods, IBM, Champion International Corporation, Fine Line Features,
The Rockefeller Foundation, Nine West, Northern Telecom, Knoll
International, Wellesley College, Princeton University, Brooklyn
Law School, and Amnesty International, plus many others.
In 2005 Woody left Pentagram to re-establish Pirtle Design.
Today, Pirtle Design continues to provide unparalleled design and
consulting services that run the gamut of business and cultural
endeavors, producing work for a diverse range of national and inter-
national clients. Because of its simple structure and lean profile,
Pirtle Design is able to retain the entrepreneurial spirit and creative
freedom necessary for producing fresh, original work. As a partner emeritus of Pentagram, Woody continues to have access to the staff
and Partners in the New York office, and is able to collaborate
when larger projects require a greater depth of resources or
The firm’s organization assures the best of both worlds for its
clients: like a small private firm, the highest ranking officer in the
organization (the principle) is intimately involved with the design
work and communicates directly with the client; like a large inter-
national firm, it maintains a sophisticated support structure
and has a wide-ranging network of professional resources.
Recent projects include: identity and website redevelopment for the
New York based international law firm Wachtel Lipton Rosen & Katz,
identity and signage for the Addison Gallery of American Art at
Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts, identity programs for the
American Folk Art Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Brooklyn
Ballet Company, Rizzoli International, Callaway Golf, Amnesty Inter-
national, the Hudson Valley Preservation Commission, Sustainable
Hudson Valley, international publisher Graphis, and The William
Stafford Center in Portland Oregon.
Over the past 18 months, Pirtle Design has continued its work
with Brown-Forman, designing an Anniversary Book celebrating the
company’s 137 year history, as well as continuing to consult
corporate branding, publications and product labeling/packaging.
Woody’s work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the permanent
collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Cooper-Hewitt Museum in
New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Neue Sammlung
Museum in Munich, and the Zurich Poster Museum. He has taught at the
School of Visual Arts, lectured extensively, is a member of the
Alliance Graphique Internationale, and has served on the board of
HOW magazine, Sustainable Hudson Valley, and the American Institute
of Graphic Arts. In October 2003 he was awarded the prestigious AIGA
Medal for his career contribution to the design profession.