Color, design, words, and symbols—used creatively, these elements combine to make everything from business cards to buildings a recognizable, memorable, and powerful presentation of our brand.
When George Nelson undertook his debut furniture collection as design director for Herman Miller, he was also tasked with creating the graphics and advertising work to support its sale. This included a new trademark that could be heat-stamped into the wood furniture. Nelson had initially approached Paul Rand, one of the most sought-after graphic designers at the time (and well revered for his identity work, most notably the IBM logo) to create the mark. But when Rand backed out of the project, the job went in-house and ultimately landed in the hands of Irving Harper.
The first ad for the collection was to be printed in 1946, prior to any tangible furniture to photograph or illustrate and was limited to a two-color printing process. But like any good designer or architect might, Harper took note of his limitations, and fashioned a monumental, French-curved M in bold red, set against a black and white wood-grain texture. The Herman Miller logo was born. Harper later called it the century’s least expensive corporate branding, but even despite the mark’s humble beginnings, the bones of that original M (today, minus the wood grain) have endured.
The Herman Miller Lockup
Irving Harper, working for George Nelson, redesigned the logo and created the iconic “M”, which was featured prominently in advertising at the time. In 1999, the logo evolved with an updated Typeface, Meta, and the placement of the “M” in a circle, which continued to be locked with “HermanMiller”—now one word.
A red logomark and wordmark are best. In order for the color to display accurately in various applications, different color formulas are used, as shown here.
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R:226 G:45 B:0
R:97 G:97 B:97
R:37 G:37 B:37
R:255 G:255 B:255
Paint: PPG Herman Miller Red
Paint: Nimbus Gray
We use the M circle (bug) to ensure there is enough clear space surrounding the logo. This minimum clear space ensures that the logo isn't cluttered with other graphic elements and can stand on it's own in the layout.
The logotype should not be placed into container shapes, altered or added to in any way. It should only be used in the appropriate colors from the logo color section. Below reflects only a handful of samples of what not to do.