logo design history

_Famous Brands Glossary

born 26. 6. 1929 in New York. 1955’74: editor and co-art director of the “Push Pin Graphic” magazine ( with Reynold Ruffins and Seymour Chwast). During the 1960s, Glaser created images of flat shapes formed by thin, black ink contour lines with color added by adhesive color films. His minimal drawing style echoed the iconography of comic books or the dynamic of contemporary Pop Art. His approach to sign and symbol is seen in the 1968 ”One Print One Painting”exhibition poster.1974: founder and president of Milton Glaser Inc., New York. The work produced at this studio encompasses a wide range of design disciplines. He re-designs numerous magazines, such as “Paris Match”, “L’Express” and “Esquire”. Much of his work has become internationally famous,like his Bob Dylan poster for CBS Records (1966) or the “I love New York” logo design for the New York State Department of Commerce (1973).

IBM logo

Paul Rand’s trademark for International Business Machines (1956) was developed from an infrequently used typeface called City Medium, designed by Georg Tromp in 1930. This is a geometrically constructed slab-serif typeface designed along similar lines as the geometric sans serif styles. Redesigned into the IBM corporate logo, a powerful and unique alphabet image emerged, for the slab serifs and square negative spaces in the B lent a unity and uniqueness. In the 1970s, Rand updated the logo by stripping it to unify the three forms and evoke scan lines on video terminals. Wliot Noyes, IBM’s consulting design director during the late 1950s wrote that the IBM design program sought ”to express the extremely advanced and up-to-date nature of its products. To this end we are not looking for a theme but for a consistency of design quality which will in effect become a kind of a theme, but a very flexible one”.

The Lester Beall International Paper Company logo design, 1960. Initials, tree, and upward arrow combine in a mark whose fundamental simplicity – an isometric triangle in a circle – assures a timeless harmony. In discussing his logo for one of the largest paper manufacturers in the world, Beall wrote, ”Our assignment was to provide management with a strong mark that could be readily adapted to an immense variety of applications. This ranged from its bold use on the barks of trees to its intricate involvement in repeat patterns, carton designs, labels, trucks. In addition to its functional strength, the new mark is a powerful force in stimulating and integrating divisional and corporate identity with positive psychological effects on human relations”. The International Paper Company logo design was controversial in the design community when it first appeared: The letters I and P are distorted to make a tree symbol, and critics questioned whether letterforms should be altered to this extreme. The continuing viability of this mark since its inception indicates that Beall’s critics were overly cautious.

Isotype Movement (The)

The important movement towards developing a ”world language without words” began in the 1920s, continued into the 1940s, and still has important influences today. The Isotype concept involves the use of elementary pictographs to convey information. The originator of this effort was Vienna sociologist Otto Neurath. As a child, Neurath marveled at the way ideas and factual information could be conveyed by visual means. Neurath felt that the social and economic changes following World War l demanded clear communication to assist public understanding of important social issues relating to housing, health, and economics. A system of elementary pictographs to present complex data, particularly statistical data, was developed. Initially, the pictographs were individually drawn or cut from paper. After woodcut artist Gerd Arntz joined the group in 1928, he designed most of the pictographs.