You might not know his name, but you undoubtedly know his work. Ivan Chermayeff and his New York-based design firm are behind some of the most iconic logos in America. Chermayeff’s impact on the design community is evidenced by his portfolio, which includes illustrations, posters and sculptural installations, as well as the logos for Harper Collins, The Smithsonian Institution and Showtime.
His modern designs were among the first to use abstraction to express corporate identity. In Chermayeff’s opinion, a logo should be clean, crisp and easily comprehensible. In a 2015 interview at the University of Texas, Chermayeff explained, “It is usually a two-month process to get to that point, but it should look like it took five minutes.”
Chermayeff passed away earlier this week at the age of 85, but his timeless designs have cemented his legacy as one of the most important graphic artists of the 20th century.