An Advertising Innovator

Thomas H. Geismar is an American graphic designer who explored visual corporate identity by designing abstract and highly symbolic logos. Geismar was part of Chermayeff & Geismar Associates, a design firm originally named Brownjohn, Chermayeff, and Geismar (renamed after Brownjohn left.) Megg’s quotes Geismar on the topic of visual identity:

‘Tom Geismar observed that a symbol must be memorable and have “some barb to it that will make it stick in your mind.” At the same time it must be “attractive, pleasant, and appropriate. The challenge is to combine all those things into something simple.”’

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Above: Logos by Chermayeff & Geismar. 

Since 1958, Chermayeff & Geismar (& Haviv, currently) have created “many of the world’s most recognizable trademarks.” In 2014, they received the the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. Geismar’s work is excellent, but he also put forth a unique way of thinking about design that’s still relevant today: “Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv is known for a collaborative, problem-solving approach to design, with personal involvement by all three principals in every project and continuous attention to the details and nuances of projects as they evolve.”

Quoted from their website

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