Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Architectural Design, 1963-1994

Identity, 1966-1997

Packaging, 1982-1994

Advertising, 1960s-1996

Print, 1960s-1990s

Corporate Art, 1970s-1980s

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Chermayeff & Geismar Records, 1963-1997



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chermayeff & Geismar
Title: Chermayeff & Geismar Records
Dates: 1963-1997
Abstract: The Chermayeff and Geismar Records consist of design materials created by the Chermayeff and Geismar design firm for Mobil Corporation from 1963 to 1998. The majority of the materials was created in the 1970s and 1980s and demonstrates the level of detail involved in creating a pervasive corporate identity. Included in the collection are posters, fine art slides, 3-D memorabilia, correspondence, periodicals, blueprints, print advertisements, books, brochures, pamphlets, product labels, instructional manuals, photographs, font mock-ups, and signs.
Accession No.: 2005-236
OCLC No.:
Extent: 10 ft., 10 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

Chermayeff and Geismar is a New York City design firm established in 1958. Led by Ivan Chermayeff and Thomas Geismar, the firm was one of the first to streamline the design process and create cohesive corporate identities for their clients. The firm’s work for large corporations now defines corporate design of the second half of the 20th century.

Chermayeff and Geismar has partnered with PanAm, NBC, PBS, Chase Bank, National Geographic, Barneys New York, Xerox, National Geographic, Mobil Oil Corporation, and other global businesses. Included in their work are such ubiquitous symbols as the NBC peacock and the Chase Bank logo. Later work includes a partnership with Armani Exchange and the redesign of the Library of Congress logo.

The firm’s long-standing relationship with Mobil resulted in a corporate identity program known for its consistency and high standards. All elements of the company, including corporate facilities, stations, lettering, products, advertisements, sponsorship, and periodicals were envisioned through Chermayeff and Geismar’s design sensibilities. The aim of this pursuit was to make Mobil “look like the best-run oil company in the world.”

Highlights of Chermayeff and Geismar's work for Mobil include the Mobil logo with the iconic red "O," visionary gas station design, adaptation of the Pegasus logo, and the selection of Mobil's fine art collection. Chermayeff and Geismar’s relationship with Mobil lasted from 1963 to 1998.

Sources:

Herrera, P., Lightbown, M.J., & McQuade, W. (1967). The graphic art of corporate image. Fortune, July, 127-130.

Wide Eye Creative (2011). Chermayeff & Geismar. Retrieved from http://www.cgstudionyc.com/

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Scope and Contents

The Chermayeff and Geismar Records consist of design materials created by the Chermayeff and Geismar design firm for Mobil Corporation from 1963 to 1998. The majority of the materials was created in the 1970s and 1980s and demonstrates the level of detail involved in creating a pervasive corporate identity. Included in the collection are posters, fine art slides, 3-D memorabilia, correspondence, periodicals, blueprints, print advertisements, books, brochures, pamphlets, product labels, instructional manuals, photographs, font mock-ups, and signs.

The records illustrate Chermayeff and Geismar's work for cultural organizations supported by Mobil (notably large-format posters advertising cultural events), gas station layout and design, advertising, corporate headquarters and vehicle design, Mobil's corporate art collection, articles pertaining to Mobil's identity work, packaging design, and general corporate identity information. These records were maintained by Chermayeff and Geismar in their corporate headquarters located in Manhattan and donated in 2005. They are arranged into record series by design type: Architectural Design, Identity, Packaging, Advertising, and Print.

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Arrangement

The papers are arranged into five series:
  • I. Architectural Design
  • II. Identity
  • III. Packaging
  • IV. Advertising
  • V. Print

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Chermayeff, Ivan.
Geismar, Thomas H.
Warner, Rawleigh.
Subjects (Organizations)
Chermayeff & Geismar
Mobil Corporation
Socony Mobil Oil Company
Subjects
Graphic Design (Typography)
Design--History--20th Century.
Corporate image.
Packaging--Design.
Corporations, American--History.

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Related Material

See also ExxonMobil Historical Collection, 1790-2004.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Chermayeff & Geismar Records, 1963-1997, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Nicole Hollon, October 2011.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Architectural Design, 1963-1994

box
4K849 Metal Old Price Signs, ca. 1982-1984
Mobil Retail Outlets Configurations Manual, ca. 1985
ID Signs, 1966-1988
Current Price Signs, 1976-1991
Miscellaneous Signs and Symbols, 1975-1991
Interior Signs, ca.1973-1982
External Signs, ca.1976-1988
Mobil la station Pégase 21, 1986
Mobil Aspetto Coordinato del Punto Vendita, 1984
Mobil Planned Merchandising, 1984
Truck signage, undated
Prototype for Service Stations, 1967
box
4K846 Japanese Station Photos, 1963
Planned Merchandising, 1970s
Launch and opening materials, 1980s
Sign blueprints, 1960s-1970s
Sign blueprints, 1980s
Pegasus 21, 1980s
Mobil Retail Outlet Standards Manual, undated
International Service Station Design Manual, 1969
Station photographs, 1994
Mobil Trademarks for Advertising, 1967
L.A.H. program, 1979
Mobil Retail Outlet Configurations Manual, 1980
Retail Design and Graphics Guidelines, 1994
Mobil standards booklets, ca. 1960s-1970s
Painting Service Stations, 1965
Convenience Store Program, 1979
Mobil Research & Development Corporation, 1969
Point-of-Purchase Sales Aids, ca. 1994
box
2W126 Mobil Joliet refinery pictures, undated
Pictures of Mobil Oil trucks, undated
Mobil jet photos, undated
Photo of gas station model, undated
Pegasus 21-GS guide, undated
Pump decals, undated
Full size lettering samples, 1970
box
2W124 Mobil Pump Signs, undated
box
2W115 Color control samples [plastic for Mobil signs], 1986-1988
box
2.B12/MC 1.10 Gas station signage blueprints, 1971-1983
Photographs [Mobil stations] (3 oversize prints), undated
Blueprints, Plans, ca. 1973-1978

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Identity, 1966-1997

box
4K843 Global Positioning Project, undated
Mobil Binder w/ Various Bulletins, ca. 1970s-1983
Mobil Graphics Standards Manual, ca. 1976
Mobil Graphics: Coordinators Desk Reference, ca. 1979
Brand Identity Packet, 1997
Graphics Overview brochures, undated
Mobil Graphics publications, 1971-1979
Mobil Graphics Standards-an overview, undated
Mobil Brand Identity, ca. 1990s
Graphics Standards Manual, undated
The Brand booklets (various languages), undated
box
4K852 Mobil Communications Professionals Reference Guides, ca. 1997
Positioning Launch Kit, ca. 1990s
Binders, undated
box
2W126 Mobil design standards poster, ca. 1966
Articles about graphic art and corporate image, 1967

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Packaging, 1982-1994

box
4K849 Delvac line expanded, 1983
Mobil Premier Poly, undated
Mobil Packaging Manual Vol. 2 with correspondence, ca. 1982,1985
Mobil Packaging Manual Vol. 1, ca. 1988-1994
Product photos and adhesives, undated
Product slides, undated
box
2.227W/368 [LSF] Container Samples [26 items], undated
box
2.227W/369 [LSF] Container Samples [13 items], undated
box
2.227W/370 [LSF] Container Samples [15 items], undated
box
2.27W/371 [LSF] Container Samples [11 items], undated
box
2W126 Product labels, undated

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Advertising, 1960s-1996

box
4K844 Mobil Showcase,
Agatha Christie's The Seven Dials Mystery publicity materials, undated
The Ten Who Dared, 1976-1977
Edward the King, 1979
The Entertainer, 1976
Edward & Mrs. Simpson, 1978
Mobil Showcase folders, undated
Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, 1976
Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, undated
Churchill and the Generals, undated
Mobil-sponsored civic events, ca. 1970s-1980s
Mobil-sponsored PBS television, 1970s-1990s
PBS Life on Earth, 1970s
David Attenborough, A Portrait of the Earth, undated
box
4K845 The Pegasus Prize for Literature, 1980s
Mobil Masterpiece Theatre invitations, undated
Various Mobil Masterpiece Theatre program materials, 1970s
Mobil Masterpiece Theatre Anniversaries, 1980-1991
Mobil Masterpiece Theatre folders, undated
Posters Made Possible pamphlets, 1988
A Murder of Quality VHS Sleeves, 1991
Mobil Grand Prix, 1988
Small promotional cards, undated
As of October 1, undated
box
4K848 Mobilgear 600 Series, undated
Mobil Steam Turbine Program, undated
Newspaper and magazine ads, 1960s-1990s
Mobil Colonnade, 1980s
Advertisement cards, undated
Edward the King wooden box, ca. 1979
Edward and Mrs. Simpson promotional materials box, ca. 1978
Mobil Showcase When Havoc Struck and Between the Wars promotional materials boxes, 1978
box
4K840 Lord Mountbatten The Last Viceroy paperweight,
PBS Life on Earth paperweight,
James Clavell's The Children's Story paperweight,
Two by Forsyth paperweight,
Danger UXB paperweight,
Edward & Mrs. Simpson paperweight,
The Last Place on Earth paperweight,
A Town Like Alice paperweight,
Edward the King: Monarch Among Men book,
Edward the King: Prince of Hearts book,
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy book,
box
2W126 Oversize advertisements, ca. 1970-1996
box
2.B12/MC 1.10 Posters (117), 1970s-1990s

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Print, 1960s-1990s

box
4K847 Cover Samples, undated
Paint Samples, 1960s-1990s
The Mobil Comet, ca. 1963
Informational pamphlets, ca. 1980s
Mobil journals and magazines, 1960s-1990s
Marketing Highlights, ca. 1980s
Welcome to Mobil, undated
Mobil Benefit Plans, undated
Mobil Communities, 1970s-1980s
Leadership Into the 90s, 1988
Calendars, 1980-1982
Templates and document formatting, 1970s-1980s
Annual Reports, 1960s-1990s
Lettering standards, ca. 1970s-1980s
Mobil: the Second Century, 1966
Protective Coating Systems, 1974
Guía de Servicio, 1966
Mobil Chemical, undated
Mobilmet Manual, 1970
Foreign language publications, 1970s-1980s
L.P. Gas Advertising and Sales Promotion, ca. 1970s
Real Estate Services, 1980s
Mobil 1 Winning Around the World, 1980s
box
2W126 Mobil Travel Guides, 1969
Mobil World magazine clippings, ca. 1968-1981
Mobil Happenings magazine, 1986-1991
Quick Lube Times, 1990s
Mobil World Magazine, 1966-1995
Mobil 1973 calendar,
Letraset instant lettering, undated

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Corporate Art, 1970s-1980s

box
4K850 Fine art slides-Joseph Richards, 1980s
Fine art prints, slides, miscellaneous, 1970s-1990s
Photography for corporate facility, undated
Fine art slides, 1970s-1990s
box
4K851 Fine art slides, 1970s-1990s
Artists-in-Residence slides, 1980-1981
Fine art color transparencies, ca. 1970s-1980s
Mobil art pamphlets and booklets, ca. 1970s-1980s
Joseph Koudelka artwork, ca. 1970s-1980s
Arte Popular Mexicano book, 1987
Sammlung Mobil book, 1983
Across the Board magazine, 1985
box
2W125 Flying Red "O" model,
box
4K841 Flying Red "O" model,

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