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Pentagram has been around for nearly 50 years, but the structure—set up by an architect, a product designer and three graphic designers in 1972—has allowed for the design firm to continue its growth. Today, Pentagram has 21 partners in four cities. Each partner jointly owns a piece of the firm, and there are no managing directors or CEOs. “It’s a completely flattened collectivist utopia,” explained Michael Bierut, a partner in New York. “Each of us runs, on any typical day, what feels to us like our own studio.”
A key benefit to the structure is that each partner can make his or her own decisions about hires, new projects or even billing without consulting other partners.