#DesignerSpotlight Ivan Chermayeff – 10 Non-Technical Principles Of A Minimal Visual Identity Design

By Aamina Suleman , Jan 25 2018
Ivan Chermayeff Logos

Feature Photograph Source: adcglobal.org

What is minimalism? A cliché font posing as a visual identity of a brand, nope! That’s not it. Perhaps the late Ivan Chermayeff, designer of iconic logo designs, can give us an insight into the world of charming minimal brand logos. Because, hey, aren’t we all trying to figure out how can we make an attractive and memorable logo?

Before we discover the tips, let’s get to know Chermayeff.

Ivan Chermayeff In Spotlight

Chermayeff came to be known as a prolific graphic designer of the 20th century. In his design career of six decades, Chermayeff made various illustrations, posters, collages, sculptures and of course logo designs for notable brands. In the mid-1900s, he established a design firm with graphic designer Tom Geismar who he had met at Yale University. Together they designed brand identities for commercial and government organizations.

Ivan Chermayeff was inspired by the works of Paul Rand, Picasso and Ikko Tanaka. I feel that much of his logo design projects are motivated by his experimentation with shapes and collages. If you see his work, you’ll notice that the symbols are in focus, and the forms used are not alien but relatable and recognizable.

Quick Facts Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff Logos

There are thousands of logo designers, but only a few get recognition for being outstanding in design. If you’re fond of the minimal style, you may enjoy looking at these logos created by Chermayeff. Each one is unique, simple and captivating – three qualities that are challenging to achieve in design but if you’re determined then you can pull it off.

Logo Design Principles Inspired By Chermayeff

To be honest, principles of design change depending on factors like time and experience of the person setting them. Surely there are the usual technical bits you need to remember such as alignment, balance and proportion, but there’s more to designing logos than this.

Principles of design also incorporate the values, rules and wisdom that each inspirational designer has for everyone (who is willing to learn). Let’s see what Chermayeff’s work and wisdom has in store for us.

1) Always Design For People

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 1

2) Find The Real Problem

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 2

3) Investigate The Client

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 3

4) Don’t Rely On Design Styles

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 4

5) Make Less, It Says More

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 5

6) Don’t Stop Experimenting

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 6

7) Steal The Right Things

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 7

8) Make Relatable Symbols

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 8

9) Make Design Connections

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 9

10) Research Concept And Elements

Ivan Chermayeff Quote 10

Which Of These Principles Inspires You The Most? Pick One.


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A marketing design enthusiast, super passionate about the evolving scope of visual communication. With 3+ years of experience in content marketing, Aamina is driven by insights, inspirations, trends and creativity. She loves to travel, eat khowsuey, sip coffee, and watch mysteries.


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