Chermayeff, Ivan: UCLA SUMMER SESSIONS 1997 [poster title]. University of California, Los Angeles, n. d.

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UCLA SUMMER SESSIONS 1997

Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff: UCLA SUMMER SESSIONS 1997 [poster title]. [Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, n. d.] Original impression. 24 x 36 - inch  [61 x 91.4 cm] trim size image printed via offset lithography on a heavy coated sheet.  Close inspection reveals mild divots due to the inevitable handling of the heavy coated sheet.  A very good example.

24 x 36 - inch  [61 x 91.4 cm] poster printed via offset lithography for the University of California, Los Angeles Extension Program.

From UCLA Today: "Fifteen years ago, InJu Sturgeon, UCLA Extension’s creative director, approached the man who was then one of the most revered names in graphic design with a request that even she considered laughable for its audacity.

"Sturgeon told artist Paul Rand that Extension was launching a series of catalog covers by master graphic designers. Would he create the inaugural cover, she asked. She could reimburse the designer for expenses, but otherwise she had no budget to pay him for his work, she told him. What’s more, she added, she needed the cover immediately.

"Rand, then age 75, was responsible for many of corporate America’s most recognizable logos, among them, those of IBM, ABC and UPS. He had long since wearied of pro bono work and told Sturgeon as much. Undeterred, Sturgeon persisted. She told Rand that what she had in mind were not just catalog covers but works of public art that would be seen and enjoyed by the hundreds of thousands of people who pick up UCLA Extension catalogs, the listings of more than 1,000 courses offered each quarter of the academic year.

"Sturgeon eventually won over Rand, and the designer’s simple yet striking image for the Winter Quarter 1990 catalog -- a snow-capped orange -- kicked off a cover series that has succeeded beyond the director’s wildest expectations."

Ivan Chermayeff (1932 - ) is inextricably linked with his long-time professional partner Tom Geismar, and the firm they founded in 1957 is regarded as one of the most influential and productive design agencies of the 20th century. Their logographic designs for clients such as Chase Manhattan Bank, NBC, Mobil, and PBS are recognized worldwide. Together and individually, the two have been recognized by every organization devoted to art and design, and the list of their awards is deeply impressive. Most recently, the firm has produced designs for the Obama campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the US Capitol Visitor Center.

Ivan Chermayeff was born in London in 1932, the son of the celebrated author and Modernist architect Serge Chermayeff (1900 - 1996). His education included stints at Harvard, the Institute of Design in Chicago (founded by Moholy-Nagy and later headed by Chermayeff's father), and Yale. After graduation from Yale, he apprenticed with Alvin Lustig, and then moved on to CBS to design record covers. A desire to open an independent design studio was realized in 1957 when college friend and fellow type enthusiast Tom Geismar joined him and Robert Brownjohn in a partnership in New York where a pantheon of formidable designers, including Will Burtin, Alvin Lustig, Paul Rand, Lester Beall, and Saul Bass, had created a climate of strong appreciation for clean, modern design.  By the 1960s, the studio of Chermayeff and Geismar (Brownjohn left in 1959) had established a wildly popular trend for corporate logos based on abstract designs, and over the course of the next 50 years produced memorable identity symbols for over 100 different prominent clients.

In a 2008 interview with the online MetropolisMag.com, Chermayeff commented on C & G's creative process in designing new corporate logos: "Our attitude is that we need to know enough about a company's past in order to begin, but almost more important than where the company has been is where it's going. You would be surprised how many people come to us and really are talking about their past and not focusing on where they're going... We rarely show a client one solution. There is no such thing as one solution to a problem. There are many... Our idea is never to show anything to anybody that we can't live with."

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