Designer Showcase: Chermayeff and Geismar

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Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar began their world-famous partnership in the 50s and they have remained a very strong dynamic duo ever since. They are two of the world’s leading graphic designers that have helped to shape the design industry over the last half century. 

Perhaps their first foray into the limelight was in the 1960 when this dynamic team created a new and shocking logo for Chase Manhattan Bank. The same logo is still being used today by Chase Manhattan Bank however, at the time, it was revolutionary. It was the first abstract logo ever created as Chase accepted Chermayeff and Geismar’s cutting-edge design of four wedges rotated around a square to form an octagon. Thanks to Chermayeff and Geismar, since their debut, abstract logos have since grown in popularity and now, they are being used to represent corporations all over the world. 

With work spanning the past few decades, Chermayeff and Geismar have created over 100 more corporate identities. They are masters in their field and they have created some of the most recognizable and longest lasting logos of all-time. Undoubtedly you will recognize some of their logos as they have created logos for many high-profile corporations including Mobil Oil, PBS, Barneys New York, Pan Am, Time Warner, Xerox, the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Here are some of their most famous logo designs:


This peacock logo is one of the world’s most recognizable logos. 


This logo is the world’s first abstract logo.

Mobil Oil

This logo is uses a simple and iconic typeface that is meant to reflect the circles and cylinders found in traditional gas station designs. Chermayeff and Geismar set the ‘o’ in red. With this simple gesture, this logo became instantly recognizable around the world. 

Barneys New York 

Simple in design, this logo emphasizes Barneys heritage by placing the ‘N’ and ‘Y’ in the middle of the design. 

National Geographic

This logo design was based on the magazine’s iconic gold border. 


This logo was created by Chermayeff and Geismar in order to put ‘the “public” in public television’. These stylized human profiles make the viewer feel more connected and a part of PBS.

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