Tom Geismar’s identity as a logo designer has been highly recognised throughout his career. He has produced some of the most iconic logos of all time including, Mobil Oil, National Geographic, Public Broadcasting, The Chase Bank and NBC.
Geismar logo career started when he was invited to join the New York partnership with Ivan Chermayeff and Robert Brownjohn in 1957. Even though Brownjohn later left the partnership, Chermayeff and Geismar continued to thrive as their own entity, founding Cherymayeff and Geismar Inc.
Every logo designed by Geismar starts with the vision of understanding and defining what the problems are and w
hat the goals should be as a successful solution. The logo designed for NBC in 1956 was redesigned by Geismar and Chermayeff in 1986.
The redesigned symbol now displays 6 colourful feathers which represent the six divisions within NBC.The use of six primary and secondary colours also allowed provision for the network to legally enforce proper usage of reproduction in either RGB, CMYK or Pantone colours all while still symbolising colour television.
He follows the same key role in every design process by establishing hand drawn sketches before he uses the computer (which he finds cumbersome and difficult to manipulate, in particular the curves of a design). Geismar states this allows his ideas to flow freely and also allows for subtle variations to the initial concept
Partner, Steff Geissbuher is quoted saying Geismar's favorite process is working with marker, scissors, tape, and copy machine, mutating, altering, modifying, and exponentially multiplying his sketches and solutions”.
This is an example of some of the design ideas he had sketched for PBS. Geismar was trying to depict the idea of "everyone" for public television and with expanding on his initial concept was successful at creating the solution to the problem of a focus other than of the initials.