Michael Bierut (born 1957) is a graphic designer, design critic and educator.
Bierut was vice president of graphic design at Vignelli Associates. Since 1990 he has been a partner in the New York office of Pentagram. According to his Pentagram online biography: Bierut “is responsible for leading a team of graphic designers who create identity design, environmental graphic design and editorial design solutions. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in several permanent collections all over the world.
“The truth about logos is that they are not that hard to do. If you ask people in the US what logos they like and recognise, they’ll name Target or Nike. Target for example, is just a dot with a circle around it, that’s all it is, so if you want a logo like Target, you don’t need to hire a designer, you barely need to know how to operate a computer program, the logo may as well be anything. God knows we do a lot of them here, but I think the best work in the area comes down to what most designers would agree on: the obvious thing, it’s not the actual logo but how it is used.”
I found a few of bierut’s new rebranded logos he has made have been slightly refined from the original…..
As part of the refresh the logo has been completely redrawn to emphasize the basic geometry of the name, creating a typeface that echoes the circles of the original and still looks “pop.”
“It isn’t intended to be clever or flashy,” said Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram’s New York office. “It’s really supposed to acknowledge its role as being ubiquitous as a kind of brand with a big footprint and one that isn’t trying to add to the visual noise around us.”
It contains a modern collegiate typeface with an embedded numeral “10″ in the word “BIG”, which, as a result, allows the audience to see “BIG” and “10″ in a single word.
Saks’s chopped-up logo is the latest and most visible example of what graphic designers call a dynamic visual identity. That’s design-speak for a logo that looks different each time you see it.
“One of the things Massimo taught me about designing identities is that it’s often easier if you find something that has some history,” Bierut says, “because it still might have a purchase on people’s imagination.”
So Bierut sifted through 40 odd Saks logos and found the one that stood out, the 1973 signature logo. He then refined it and chopped it up into squares with millions of variations.
The logo was made simple enough for clear communication, without being too hip. So it could reach the masses of simple americans. The arrow being the most notable part of the logo. Usually used on sports brands it suggest speed and precision great things for a possible president. But also moving forward. The arrow slowly become the focus points in some banners, totally losing the ‘H’ but everyone knew what it stood for.
Pentagram’s identity is based on a grid system than can be pulled apart and put back together every which way to form numerous individual glyphs for different faculties and applications in one beautiful, cohesive look, bound together by a single ML monogram in Helvetica that acts as the Media Lab’s logo.