For Saks Fifth Avenue, Pentagram and Yottoy illustrated a story about an artist seeking his fortune.
For years, Saks Fifth Avenue has projected snowflakes onto the façade of its flagship store in Manhattan as part of its holiday decoration. In 2011 Saks’s design partners at Pentagram created the book Who Makes The Snow? to introduce the idea that a family of Yetis living on the roof of the building was responsible for the snow that falls down the sides. The same year, Michael Bierut introduced Saks to illustrator Stefan G. Bucher to develop a plush Yeti character for sale in the store. Following its success, creative director Terron Schaefer and his team asked him back for another round in 2012.
In addition to a new teenage Yeti—once again tranformed into a plush with the expert help of Kate Clark and Peter Doodeheefver at Yottoy—he was asked to write and illustrate a backstory. The Yeti Story tells the tale, in rhyme, of how the first Yeti came to live up on the roof of Saks. It’s a classic immigrant’s tale that begins in a snow factory in 1950s Siberia and ends in New York, where a frustrated young snow artist has gone to seek his fortune. Along the way the Yeti has nerdy adventures, finds himself in grand locations and masters a few major obstacles.
The book—available exclusively at Saks and on Saks.com—is bound in imitation Yeti fur and pops out of die-cut silver slipcase. The obsessive details start right on the box, where each flap is decorated with bonus illustrations, culminating in a book so full of inside jokes and visual references that Saks asked Bucher to call them out in an insert. (Designers in particular will appreciate allusions to the finer points of philately, two-color printing and references to the number 344.)
Note: The snowflakes in the last spread were designed by Marian Bantjes.