Identify. Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar

Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar
Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar

The NBC peacock. Chase Bank’s blue octagon. Mobil Oil’s arresting red O. PBS’s poetic silhouettes of “Everyman.”

Chermayeff & Geismar’s visual identities are instantly recognizable by countless millions around the world (one identity–the official logo for the U.S. Bicentennial–even sits on Mars) and set the standard for what a successful trademark is.

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Marks Men. An Interview With Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar, and Sagi Haviv

In Identify, celebrated designers Tom Geismar and Ivan Chermayeff, and partner, rising star Sagi Haviv (called a “logo prodigy” by The New Yorker) open up their studio for the first time in the firm’s 55-year history and reveal the creative process that lead to the firm’s iconic visual identities, from the oldest (Chase Bank and Mobil Oil in the 1960s) to the more recent (Armani Exchange and the Library of Congress in the 2000s).

The team demonstrates how their approach to design has remained unaltered by cultural and technological change and is in fact more successful than ever in today’s online and digital applications, due to the powerful simplicity that is the hallmark of the firm’s work.

A showcase of some of the world’s most famous and enduring trademarks, an account of how they came to be, and an unprecented insider’s peek into a legendary branding and graphic design firm. Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar unveils the thinking and the process behind identity design that works.

“Chermayeff & Geismar, one of America’s most historic design firms, has touched so many businesses and institutions with its signature brand of graphic modernism that New York’s streetscape wouldn’t be as vibrant had it never formed over 50 years ago. It is impossible to walk down a midtown Manhattan sidewalk without seeing its logos, posters, shopping bags, and other commercial and cultural brand identities, like Chase Bank and Mobil Oil. Along with hundreds of other familiar graphic marks, the firm’s individual and collective contributions are indelible signposts — some are even landmarks.”

–Steven Heller

“The firm of Chermayeff & Geismar has created some of the most memorable logos in the history of graphic design, including the NBC Peacock, Chase Bank’s Blue Octagon, and (literally) hundreds of others. This book reveals the history and process of creating many of the world’s most iconic marks.”

–Debbie Millman

Author: Sagi Haviv, Tom Geismar, and Ivan Chermayeff
Title: Identify Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar
Publisher: HOW Books
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9781440310324