Woody Pirtle established Pirtle Design in Dallas, Texas in 1978. Over the next 10 years the firm produced some of the most celebrated 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 international 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 interdisciplinary support.
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 international firm, it maintains a sophisticated support structure and has a wide-ranging network of professional resources.
Woody’s work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, both in New York City, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., The Albany Institute of History and Art, The Denver Art Museum, 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 directors of HOW Magazine, Sustainable Hudson Valley, Walkway Over the Hudson and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In October 2003 Woody received the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, for his distinguished career contributions to the design profession. And, in April 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize, in design, from The American Academy in Rome.