Review: Standards Manual Back with "Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv"

July 06, 2018

The Standards Manual imprint (the independent publisher founded by Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth) has done it again. After successful re-issues of the 1975 NASA Graphics Standard Manual, the 1970 NYC Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual, and the 1977 United States Environmental Protection Agency Graphic Standards System, the publisher continues to explore the golden eras of American graphic design with Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. Keeping with the theme, this collection showcases the iconic work of one of the great New York graphic design firms, from case studies to graphic standards creations, final logo work and full campaign designs.

Digging into the book unearths the arc of the firm’s best work: the Mobil logo, NYU torch, PanAM logos and ad campaigns, PBS’s logo, Barneys New York’s iconic shopping bags, or even the legendary NBC peacock: this is all Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. Creating even one of these logos would guarantee a spot in the graphic design Hall of Fame! Through testimonials from current clients, interviews with Tom Geismar and Sagi Haviv, as well as text from Milton Glaser and others, this collection not only gives the breadth of the firm’s repute for design, but proves how much they have influenced art and culture over the last 60 years. Over 300 pages, you get more than a story of graphic design, you get a full history on American identity. —EP