What Can We Learn From the Greatest Graphic Designers?

19 Oct, 2019

What Can We Learn From the Greatest Graphic Designers?
What Can We Learn From the Greatest Graphic Designers?
Paul Rand
Paul Rand was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and NeXT. He was one of the first American commercial artists to embrace and practice the Swiss Style of graphic design.
“Don't try to be original; just try to be good.”
“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions, there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”
“Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”
Massimo Vignelli
Massimo Vignelli is an acclaimed Italian graphic designer who gave shape to his spare, Modernist vision in book covers and shopping bags, furniture and corporate logos, even a church and a New York City subway map.
“I don't think that type should be expressive at all. I can write the word 'dog' with any typeface and it doesn't have to look like a dog. But there are people that [think that] when they write 'dog' it should bark.”
“You can say, "I love you," in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy. Or you can say it with the Extra Bold if it's really intensive and passionate, you know, and it might work.”
“If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”
Ivan Chermayeff
Ivan Chermayeff is one of the best American graphic designers, the son of the Russian born, British architect Serge Chermayeff. In 1956 he co-founded Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar Associate, with Robert Brownjohn and his former schoolmate Tom Geismar. In 1959 Brownjohn left and the studio changed to Chermayeff & Geismar Inc. It soon became one of the best-known design firms worldwide. The firm produced over six-hundred marks, and they were among the very first to develop an abstract trademark (Chase Bank, 1960), still in use today. In 1964 they designed the outstanding corporate identity of Mobil Oil, that is one of the most recognizable identities ever. From its foundation, the studio served major companies including Armani, Barneys, Hearst, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), National Geographic, NBC (National Broadcasting Company), PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), Rockefeller, and others. Recently, Serge Haviv joined as a new partner and the firm changed to Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.
“Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.”
“Styles come and go, design goes on forever: solving communication problems with new tools applied to the same old common sense.”
“Sometimes there is simply no need to be either clever or original.”
“A good trademark, whether a word mark or a symbol, is devoid of fashion or trend, which makes it potentially iconic if it's seen for long enough in the right places.”
Tom Geismar
Tom Geismar is a founding partner of Chermayeff & Geismar and widely considered a pioneer of American graphic design. During the past four decades he has designed more than a hundred corporate identity programs. His designs for Xerox, Chase Manhattan Bank, Best Products, Gemini Consulting, PBS, Univision, Rockefeller Center and, most notably, Mobil Oil have received worldwide acclaim. Tom has also had major responsibility for many of the firm’s exhibition designs and world’s fair pavilions. His projects include such major tourist attractions as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Statue of Liberty Museum, the Truman Presidential Library, and the redesigned Star-Spangled Banner exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
“I have always been attracted to reductive design, trying to find the essence of an idea, and then finding an imaginative way to clearly express it. That approach is quite relevant to logo design, especially the design of symbols and marks.”
“While I spend much time on the computer, and find it a great tool for carrying out design directions, to me drawing is still absolutely essential as a way to quickly convey or express an idea. it’s especially important for us, as our work is idea-based, not style-based.”
Sagi Haviv
Sagi Haviv is a partner and designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. Among the over 60 identity programs he has designed are the logos for the US Open Tennis Championships, Leonard Bernstein at 100, Harvard University Press, Conservation International, and LA Reid’s Hitco Entertainment. Sagi joined the firm in 2003 after graduating from The Cooper Union School of Art. In 2013, his name was added to the firm’s masthead. A go-to expert on the process of effective logo design, Sagi contributes regularly to Bloomberg Businessweek, PBS, Fast Company, and NBC’s Meet The Press. He speaks about logo design around the world, including for TEDx, the AIGA, the HOW Design Conference, the Brand New Conference, Princeton University, the Onassis Foundation, the American Advertising Federation, and Columbia Business School, amongst many others. Sagi has served as Jury Chair for the Clio Awards and the Art Directors Club and Jury President for the D&AD Awards.
“There are many misconceptions about logos, especially what they can and can’t do for a company. A logo can’t tell a whole story – in fact it can say very little. What we often remind clients (and ourselves), is that we’re not looking for a message, but for identification. We make a great effort to create original things, The logo isn’t going to change the experience of the brand but, if it’s a good logo, it will remind consumers of that experience.”
"Nobody falls in love with a logo at first sight”
"A logo is not a sentence, it's the period at the end"



Humolli Drin, Editor



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