A Glimpse into The Lives of Iconic Logo Designers and Their Best Works

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Cynthia Moreno

21st July 2020

Cynthia Moreno

Have you ever been transfixed by a business logo design? Have you ever thought why the Mercedes-Benz emblem has only three pongs? Why did the designer use the curvy arches for the McDonald’s symbol? Why choose the red in Levi’s or the blue and pink in Baskin-Robbins?

Many emblems and designs have stood the test of time gracefully, simply due to the fact that they were ingenious creations of some of the most talented custom logo designers out there.

It is a true mark of achievement when a designer’s work is not only recognized by the world but also remains unchanged, winning the battles against the changing trends and technologies.

Being in the design industry, whether as a student, beginner, or a practicing designer, it is significant to learn about the roots and history of your industry.

This blog follows some of the most famous and thriving custom logo designers who have conjured up the most unique and breathtaking designs. So, without further ado, lets jump right into the topic.

Ruth KedarRuth Kedar is a Brazilian artist and designer who earned a degree in architecture in Israel and a Master’s in graphic design from Stanford University

Ruth Kedar is a Brazilian artist and designer who earned a degree in architecture in Israel and a Master’s in graphic design from Stanford University. Kedar etched her place in the design world by crafting the iconic logo design for the tech behemoth Google.

The logo design of Google is not just a logo but a 360representation of their impact, their values, and their brand identity

The logo design of Google is not just a logo but a 360°representation of their impact, their values, and their brand identity. A simple yet impactful symbol that has remained unchanged since its creation is definitely Kedar’s best creation.

Kedar, however, did not make her debut in the world of graphic design with Google’s emblem. She was associated with Adobe Systems and was also known for designing the award-winning Analog Deck and Duolog Deck before becoming an inspiration to professional logo designers worldwide.

She is also a recipient of a number of design awards.Ruth Kedar is no ordinary designer, and her work is living testimony to the fact.

Ivan ChermayeffIvan Chermayefffollowed a simple yet meaningful style infused with a bold impact that made his custom logo designs more distinctive and memorable

Ivan Chermayefffollowed a simple yet meaningful style infused with a bold impact that made his custom logo designs more distinctive and memorable. He was a co-founder of a New York-based branding and graphic design firm named Chermayeff& Geismar &Haviv (formerly Chermayeff& Geismar).

With the company’s platform, Chermayeff crafted numerous renowned business logo designs including NBC’s iconic prismatic peacock, chase bank’s heptagonal blue emblem, the Smithsonian’s sunburst symbol, and designs for other companies such as Pan Am, Mobil Oil, PBS,  Barneys New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Xerox,  Cornell University, National Geographic, State Farm, and many others.

He is most famously known to be a custom logo designer for Showtime emblem – specifically for cleverly highlighting the network’s abbreviation SHO by putting a spotlight on it.

For hundreds of designs, posters

For hundreds of designs, posters, and campaigns throughout history, Chermayeff, along with partner Geismar,was awarded the AIGA Medal in 1979.

 

Lindon LeaderLindon Leader is well-known for his use of white space, subliminal messages, and innovative designs

Lindon Leader is well-known for his use of white space, subliminal messages, and innovative designs. A recipient of more than 30 prestigious global design awards,Lindon Leader of Landor Associates designed the famous FedEx logo design.

The business logo design of FedEx may seem simple and a tad boring at first, but when you take a closer look, you will see how smart the design actually is. FedEx stands for speed, movement, and efficient delivery. Guess what its emblem signifies? Exactly that!

You may not see it at first, but if you look carefully, there is a hidden white arrow around between the E and X. The hidden message makes the iconic logo design an inspiring work of art for professional logo designers all over the world.

Frank Mason RobinsonFrank Mason Robinson, a bookkeeper for the Pembertons company,coined the name “Coca-Cola,” created the script emblem, and was its primary marketer and advertiser

Frank Mason Robinson, a bookkeeper for the Pembertons company,coined the name “Coca-Cola,” created the script emblem, and was its primary marketer and advertiser. For over 100 years, Coca-Cola has proven to be a universal household name, thanks to Robinson and his ingenious efforts towards its branding.

Drawn in flowing handwriting, the script is known to have a distinct ‘of the moment’ style

Drawn in flowing handwriting, the script is known to have a distinct ‘of the moment’ style. Robinson experimented with numerous typefaces before creating this font, which has remained the same over time.

Rob JanoffRob Janoff is among those professional logo designers who specialize in crafting business logo designs

Rob Janoff is among those professional logo designers who specialize in crafting business logo designs, corporate brand identity, print advertisements, and TV commercials. He is recognized for his contributions to the design world in the form of iconic logo designs for Apple, IBM, and Intel.  However, Apple’s symbol is known to be his most honorable work and his biggest claim to fame.

No list of iconic logo designs is complete without Apple’s emblem. Janoff has been redesigning Apple’s insignia since its inception. From the detailed Newton symbol to the bitten, sleek apple we see today, all are the brainchildren of Rob Janoff.

Janoff’s signature style is the gradient, which is visible not only in one of the versions of the Apple symbol but in the Pluit City emblem and others as well

Janoff’s signature style is the gradient, which is visible not only in one of the versions of the Apple symbol but in the Pluit City emblem and others as well.

In an interview, Janoff described the iconic bite of the emblem is actually a wordplay between the words bite and byte. It signifies a “byte” of information and is inspired by the Biblical story of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden apple. It thus conveys the idea that Apple products are as tempting as the apple in the Garden of Eden. Clever, isn’t it?

 

Paul RandIn the list of the world’s best professional logo designers and graphic designers

In the list of the world’s best professional logo designers and graphic designers, Paul Rand tops both categories. He is one of the most impressive designers the world has ever seen. Best known for his work for IBM, UPS, ABC, Yale University Press, Swiss Style graphic design, and many more, Rand has left an inspiring legacy for all custom logo designers to follow.

Paul Rand’s work is a shining example ofhow to use the right contrasts to capture the viewers

Paul Rand’s work is a shining example ofhow to use the right contrasts to capture the viewers. While some of his designs, such as the IBM symbol may not be full of colors and contrasts, they are memorable, nonetheless.

Erik NitscheNitsche is known for his surreal take on crafting iconic logo design

Nitsche is known for his surreal take on crafting iconic logo design, defining the art movement of the mid-century decades using a glimmering approach to hues and shades. Nitsche was among the few of those professional logo designers who followed the Art Deco style when he created numerous emblems for General Dynamics.

General Dynamics wanted to rebrand their identity, but since the company created war weapons

General Dynamics wanted to rebrand their identity, but since the company created war weapons, most of their work was top-secret. This underlying datum made it difficult for Nitsche to know everything about the brand. However, he still managed to hit the bulls-eye when he created the iconic logo designs for General Dynamics.

Nitsche perfectly conveyed the company’s new approach using a series of brilliantly designed, abstract creations. So much so, that his designs later represented General Dynamics at the “Atoms for Peace” conference and forever shift the General Dynamics brand image.

Walter LandorWalter Landor designed whole-hearted and appealing emblems, popularizing the warm and inviting style of design

Walter Landor designed whole-hearted and appealing emblems, popularizing the warm and inviting style of design. Landor grew up during a time when Werkbund and Bauhaus movements influenced the design world. Landor was passionate about the world of design. After graduating, he helped found a design consultancy firm, traveled to discover and explore the United States to learn more about the American perspective of design.

Landor then moved to San Francisco and founded his design company, Walter Landor & Associates. Utilizing this platform, he designed several iconic logo designs for top-notch companies such as Levi Strauss, Shell Oil, General Electric, Coco-Cola, and many more well-known brands.

The emblem of Levi’s is considered to be his best work. The emblem is well-recognized worldwide

The emblem of Levi’s is considered to be his best work. The emblem is well-recognized worldwide by the shape of the red batwing, representing a pocket on a pair of Levi’s.

Paula ScherThe “master conjurer of the instantly familiar

The “master conjurer of the instantly familiar” designs, Paula Scher, creates emblems that are instantly recognizable and stand out of the crowd like a shining piece of art. She combines pop culture and fine art to create uniquely iconic logo designs.

Scher creates designs that are timeless and meaningful, recognized for the contemporary regeneration of American brands. Among the most admired professional logo designers, Scher stands out due to her Tiffany & Co. and Citibank logo designs. These designs are prime examples of eye-catching typography-based emblems with clear and minimal messaging.

For her significant contributions

For her significant contributions, Scher was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1998 and received the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design in 2000.

Using sheer simplicity and clear messaging, Scher’s emblems offer the objective of the business point-blank. No wonder she was privileged enough to be part of one of the world’s most acclaimed designing firms,Pentagram.

Carolyn DavidsonA brand whose symbol is more famous than the brand name itself is a true achievement of professional logo designers

A brand whose symbol is more famous than the brand name itself is a true achievement of professional logo designers. Carolyn Davidson enjoys the prestigious statureof being the designer of the world’s most famous and adored custom logo design.

Only handful companies are known by their emblems, and Nike’s swoosh surpasses all others. Davidson designed the iconic logo design in 1971 while she was still a student at Portland State University.

The leading sports accessories manufacturer

The leading sports accessories manufacturer, although, has gone under some modifications with their emblem, never changed the swoosh that was initially designed. The Greek goddess of victory inspired the company’s name, Nike. Thus, the business logo design connotates the goddess’ wing, ‘Swoosh,’ symbolizing the sound of speed, movement, motivation, and power.

 

That’s all, folks!

The graphic design world is filled with distinguished names that are all worth mentioning, and we will surely cover them all in more posts to come. Till then, keep on exploring, learning, and diving deep into the design world, if you want to thrive within this industry.

If you would like more tips and insights, take a look at our blogs to fill yourself up with the latest industry trends and knowledge. Leave us a comment below to let us know what you would like to read about next! We’d love to hear from you.





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