Ivan Chermayeff (1932-2017) designed some of the most widely recognized and admired logos in corporate America. including Mobil, PBS and National Geographic.
This 2015 interview offers a rare glimpse into Mr. Chermayeff’s design process.
I make collages. I have many many collages. I do them almost every day. I work on them in between my office work. I have quite a few. Several hundred.
It is easy to be intimidated by the life’s work of an iconic designer, because they appear to produce their creative ideas without effort or process.
A collage gives us a starting point without suffering blank slate paralysis. If you are developing a logo, start with a collage of materials and media that relate to what the logo will represent.
Show your work
By assembling collages as Mr. Chermayeff described, not just when the work begins but as an activity between work, he was readying material in his imagination for logo creation. He already had raw material with which to begin his as-is analysis of the themes and representations of the logo’s purpose.
Faced with our own creative task, a collage could be a great way to perform an as-is analysis as a starting point for creativity.