Update: 22 August 2008
I’ve learned a lot about designers since publishing this short post (about blogging, too — it’s always a little naive to add “best” to any post title). So I’ve launched a new website dedicated to logo greats. You can view the resource here: iconic logo designers.
This blog has quite an emphasis on logo design, so I’ve put together a little background on some of the most notable graphic designers in history. Here follows iconic names such as Herb Lubalin, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, along with some examples of their logo designs and a brief biographical background.
It’s worth mentioning that these people are renowned for many disciplines, not just logo design.
Born 1918. Died 1981.
Herb’s Families logo was designed in 1980 and the Marriage logo in 1965 (both above).
Born 1914, New York, USA. Died 1996.
Rand is responsible for the ABC logo (American Broadcasting Company) from 1962 and the IBM logo (both above).
Born 1929, New York, USA.
Since founding Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, the work produced at his Manhattan studio has encompassed a wide range of design disciplines, including identity programs for corporate and institutional marketing purposes and logos (among them the ‘I love New York’ logo for the New York state department of commerce, that became the most frequently imitated logo design in human history).
Born 1920, New York, USA. Died 1996.
Saul Bass’s long and prolific career has influenced legions of designers. Bass studied at the Art Students League with Howard Trafton and at Brooklyn College with Gyorgy Kepes. After working in New York for a number of years, he moved to Los Angeles and founded Saul Bass & Associates in 1946.
Bass was a design innovator, in the corporate world with logos for AT&T and United Airlines (both above) and working with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese and Otto Preminger.
Born 1913, Munich, Germany. Died 1995.
What is probably Landor’s most famous logo is that of Fedex (shown above). The negative space ‘arrow’ has been well documented. The peoplepc logo (also above) is another that I enjoy. However, today Landor Associates don’t always get it right, such as their awful attempt at Italy’s national logo.
Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar
Chermayeff born Chechen Republic. Geismar born New Jersey, dates TBA.
“Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.”
— IVAN CHERMAYEFF
Chermayeff and Geismar designed the famous Mobil logo (shown above) and developed a complete corporate identification program with continuing consultation for 35 years. The program was built around the logo, a specially designed alphabet, a clear policy for colour, and a comprehensive design approach that integrated new graphics with new architecture. It included design of product packaging, vehicle markings, print material, posters and all design, packaging and sign standards for facilities throughout the world.
Born 1931, New York, USA.
In 1962, Gill, Alan Fletcher and Colin Forbes established Fletcher / Forbes / Gill design studio, the forerunner of Pentagram (design studio).
LogoMania, his latest book, sets out to prove that there are unlimited good solutions to any problem. Gill designed thirty two logos for the same client.
Graphic Design as a Second Language is a superb book that details Gill’s design process. Highly recommended.
Born in London, England.
According to Wikipedia, Wally Olins is generally recognised as the world’s most experienced practitioner of corporate identity and branding.
Wally was awarded a CBE in 1999. He was nominated for the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 1999 and received the Royal Society of Arts’ Bicentenary Medal for his contribution to the design and marketing industry.
Founded 1964 by Italian, Marcello Minale and Yorkshireman, Brian Tattersfield. Today there are many partners.
Minale and Tattersfield met while working at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam. Here they gained invaluable experience in broad-based commercialism, marketing and research which, combined with the deeper culture of their training as designers, gave them a tremendous advantage over others in their field when they set up their own practice.
You can view some of the Minale Tattersfield agency‘s work by clicking on the client names below:
Who’s your favourite logo designer?
Of course this list is by no means exclusive. Your input is very welcome.
Don’t forget to visit a more definitive resource: iconic logo designers.