The legend did the challenging work of designing graphics for corporate purposes and created numerous famous logo marvels for the Smithsonian, Pan Am and many more.
The legendary Logo Designer, Ivan Chermayeff passed away on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the age of 85. Recent reports inform that this death was a natural death that took place in the legend’s very own home. The causes, they say, stemmed from a deep-rooted diabetes that Mr. Chermayeff was suffering from. Ivan Chermayeff was the mastermind behind the amazing work on Pan Am’s globe symbol and Showtime’s wordmark which are a few of the many works this man was famous for. Along with these, Ivan designed hundreds of posters and several corporate identities that have been imprinted on our minds to date.
Ivan founded his firm in 1957 as a collaborative work with his business partner, Tom Geismar. The firm is now called Chermayeff & Geismar & Haiv. Ivan’s partner, Tom Geismar, in Ivan’s praise states that Mr. Chermayeff was a great illustrator and a designer. His design often reflected the joyful personality that he possessed. Tom also tells a news release that Ivan loved the color red and often incorporated it in most of his designs. Ivan’s partnership with Tom remained for sixty years during which both of them contributed to their venture in different ways. As Tom says, their alliance was a strong bond of respect and friendship and their business was well-driven by a mutual belief in ethical values.
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The two men, were together known was the pioneers of the designing world. Through their unmatchable intellect, these men devised different tools and techniques that would better help them improve and restructure the dynamics of business and communication of the organization they worked in. Their efforts enabled them to create smashing logos for Pan Am, the Environmental Protection Agency and the world’s one of the most reputable publishing houses, Harper Collins. They also arranged large-scale exhibition shows such as the U.S. Pavilion held at Expo ’67 and the Kennedy Presidential Library in Montreal and Boston respectively.
In 2014, Chermayeff told Co. Design about the progression of the design world. Chermayeff stated that the expression, ‘graphic design’ was nowhere in existence when he started the venture with Tom Geismar. He also told the magazine about how it was just the second year of the department of graphic design when he got enrolled in Yale in its School of Art and Architecture. This was very much unlike the today’s world in which thousands of students graduate in design every day.
Ivan Chermayeff was born in London in 1932. He migrated to the US with his family during the World War II. Mr. Ivan studied at some of the most prestigious universities of the US including the Chicago Institute of Design, Harvard and Yale. It was at Yale that he met Tom Geismar and before taking the initiative with Geismar, Ivan underwent a long learning period while working under the very well-famed designer, Alvin Lustig. Along with his corporate banding work, Chermayeff designed Children’s books and came to be known as an extremely proficient artist. Research shows that Chermayeff was very fond of collage art.
During his lifetime, Ivan won a number of great awards that were enough to add to his list of achievements. These eminent awards included the AIGA Gold Medal which he won in 1979. This award was counted as one of the highest honors in design. In 2014, he was awarded a National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Smithsonian. According to Haiv, one of his partners in business, Ivan was not only a design icon but he was also a mentor, partner and a friend. The legendary designer was extremely fond of aesthetic design. It is said that he was fond of ‘good’ design by which it was meant ‘excellent’ and for Ivan, anything less than excellent never even began to qualify as ‘design’. His peers further state that Ivan Chermayeff’s quest for the flawless bond between form and idea is the greatest inspiration anyone can get and thus, his contribution to the field of design stood unrivalled in the years that have passed and will stand such in the years to come.