New York-based independent publishing imprint Standards Manual has released Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, a monograph covering 60 years of work from the prolific New York design firm founded by Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar in 1957. The release comes at an apt time following the sad passing of Ivan earlier this month, serving as a fitting celebration of his life’s work.
The firm, now with the addition of Sagi Haviv, has created some of most instantly recognisable identities that have helped shape American culture, such as the NBC peacock, the PBS faces, the NYU torch and the red mobil O. Tom Geismar states that: “Our trademark designs can be seen as eclectic because they take many forms, and are expressed in many styles. But they are deliberately this way because each has been designed to provide a distinctive, memorable and appropriate visual expression of the organisation it represents.”
Identity is a beautifully produced book sitting at nearly 30cm wide with a silkscreened cover featuring an amalgamation of 30 of the designers’ most influential logos. This large format allows for a luxurious display of the firm’s work alongside interviews with Chermayeff, Geismar and Haviv on three different paper stocks. The monograph also includes written contributions from John Maeda, Milton Glaser and many others.
“The cover illustrates our approach to trademark design: our primary concern is a strong, distinctive silhouette – this is what people remember. Although each trademark in this book represents a solution to a particular client’s problem, and there’s a story behind each, here they are presented simply as artwork,” says Sagi.
The book’s visually-led, simple design is very much in keeping with Standards Manual’s previous releases such as NASA Graphics Standards Manual and NYTCA: Objects.
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Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.