The New York office of Pentagram is adding its first partner in four years: Eddie Opara, an interactive and graphic designer who currently heads the Map Office in New York will be partner #17, the newest addition to the firm since Luke Hayman in 2006. Opara’s dazzling multidisciplinary range combines technology-based wizardry with solid graphic chops, making him a smart addition to the global partnership, says partner Lisa Strausfeld. “Eddie is the ideal next generation Pentagram partner. He is traditionally-trained graphic designer and a self-taught software developer with a perfectly tuned eye and keenly strategic mind. He is what every client needs.”
Bringing a wealth of skills as well as all-important diversity to the table (Opara is black), it seems that Opara is also what Pentagram needs. This ability to bring a fresh perspective to the renowned firm is an idea that enticed Opara from the outset. “This was an invitation to do something that is new, exciting, and interesting, where I could take it to different areas,” he tells Co.Design.
Born the same year that Pentagram was founded (1972), Opara grew up in London where his heroes were Pentagram founder Alan Fletcher and designers who joined the ranks later, like Harry Pearce, Dominic Lippa and Angus Hyland (Lippa and Hyland attended Opara’s alma mater, the London College of Printing). Joining these design “demigods,” as Opara calls them, is a heady feeling but one he feels is perfectly timed in his career. “I’m longing for bigger, better jobs — something where I can express myself even more. I need that in my life,” he says. “Plus one of the great things that I’m getting out of it is I’m learning. I’m 38 years old and I’ll never stop learning.”