Good Stuff Elsewhere: Interview with Ivan Chermayeff

Cynthia CloskeyQuick links

Over at designboom, there’s a brief but insightful interview with Ivan Chermayeff, a designer who helped create the NBC peacock logo, among may other famous symbols.

could you describe your style as a good friend
of yours might?

it’s not really as easy as that because design is a service, you do what people need, not necessarily what they like but what you feel that they should have. if the client is clever and already knows that they have a particular problem and they come to us they already have an idea of what type of service they will get. we try not to have a style, perhaps the work is recognizable as ours but I think that it would take a very discerning eye to know that. what we have as a constant thread in our work is trying to boil things down to being strong and very simple and looking as though they happened very fast – which they may not have. (laughs)

sometimes it can be quite a struggle to get to what we end up going with. what a lot of people don’t understand is the process of distillation, that you can get paid for doing something that can be drawn on the back of an envelope in three seconds, but it can take a lot of work to get to that point sometimes. the most important thing is to understand
who your client’s audience is. it’s too easy to be too sophisticated for people to understand, too illegible or whatever else. it’s also important to understand your clients media, for instance you are on the web, a chinese restaurant is slipping flyers under doors, you have to know how it
works and act accordingly.

(Link via Coudal Partners.)