Logo Design Projects:
Logo created for Quality Concepts International - Orange County CA
December 27th 2018
Logo design, Graphic Design, Vehicle Wrap Design
August 15th 2018
Logo Design, Graphic Design, Web Design, Branding
August 15th 2018
Logo design, Graphic Design, Web Development
August 16th 2006
Modern Design: One Simple Truth About Marks
Original versus modern Chase Bank Logo designed by Chermayeff & Geismar, 1961 - © Copyright J.P. Morgan Chase
There are several misconceptions about what makes great brand design. One of them is that the logo carries the weight of a company's identity, which translates in concept marks striving to encapsulate all the elements that a company represents.
This is especially common with a small business, for whom the ability to create an effective and immediate call to action is paramount, and directly proportional to success, or survival.
Prior to the advent of the modern Internet, which created a requirement for brands to be concise and minimalist to suit shorter attention spans, branding logos were far more elaborate, compared to what we see today.
One popular example is the shift from the original Chase Bank logo, to the new, modern mark we see today, which was developed by Chermayeff & Geismar, in 1961, a design company which is still in operation today as “Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv”.
The original Chase Bank mark featured a framed silhouette of North America, on which a smaller wireframe globe was superimposed, along with the words “World-Wide Banking”, hovering above the “Chase Manhattan” heading.
By the standards that existed prior to the 1961, the original Chase Bank logo was certainly ahead of its time, and far more simple and minimalist, compared to the complexity of the marks used by similar enterprises, such as Wells Fargo, which featured a detailed illustration of its original stagecoach, carried by six horses.
When Tom Geismar proposed the new iteration of the Chase Logo, it was initially met with mixed feelings, because, at least in the mind of the board of directors, the logo was far too simple and abstract, in a 1960s world where literal imagery was predominant.
The end result
While apparently abstract, the Chase logo encapsulates very specific elements relating to the history of Manhattan. The blue on the Chase logo’s octagon refer to the water running through the first water pipes, originally constructed using interlocking wood planks. Those planks were the inspiration for the four blue concentric shapes that make the modern Chase Bank logo, and make the connection with the long-running history of the banking institution, dating back to 1799.