Herman Miller Logo Design Evolution, 1905-2011; A Brief History Lesson.

The Herman Miller logo has always been one of these logos that I have long enjoyed viewing. This is a brief run down of the Herman Miller brand evolution.

The Herman Miller logo has always been one of these logos that I have long enjoyed viewing.

It creatively stimulates me in a similar way to the Leica logo, and always find my self drawn to those red dots, and clear white logo mark interiors.

Whilst digging around to find out the story behind the Herman Miller logo I came across a brief blog post on the Herman Miller website. This post documents, in images, the evolution of the Herman Miller brand since 1905.

Like other notable brands: Starbucks, Levis, Apple, Nike, Herman Miller has recently eliminated the brand name from the main brand mark

This leaves just the beautiful red dot to carry the brand, as seen in the first image above.

What follows is a brief visual history as seen on their original blog post, Logo Design & the Evolution of our Identity.

hermanmiller logo design

Evolution of the Herman Miller Logo 1905-2011


1905 – The logo of the Michigan Star Furniture Company was a standalone banner logo similar to other logos of that genre.


1923 – D.J. De Pree buys the company and names it after his Father-in-law, Herman Miller.

While the logo is updated it maintains the strong linear quality of it’s 1905 predecessor.


1946 – Irving Harper, working for George Nelson, redesigns the logo and creates the iconic “M”, which was featured prominently in advertising at the time.


1948 – The logo designed in 1946 used in promotional advertising.


1952 – The same logo being used in more promotional advertising.


1960 – John Massey, in keeping with the times, sets Herman Miller in Helvetica—all lowercase—and locks it to the “M”, creating a logo design that lasted for almost 40 years.


1960 – The Herman Miller logo mark used in promotional materials.


1999 – Months of exploration resulted in an updated Typeface, Meta, and the placement of the “M” in a circle, which continued to be locked with “HermanMiller”—now one word.


2011 – The HermanMiller brand name now removed from the logo mark; FF Meta remains the corporate typeface, which now represents the entire HermanMiller brand, as seen on their website.

About Herman Miller

Herman Miller was a West Michigan businessman who helped his son-in-law, D.J. De Pree, buy the Michigan Star Furniture Company in 1923. De Pree had been working at the company, which opened in 1905, since he was hired in 1909 as a clerk. De Pree knew his father-in-law was a man of integrity, so he decided to rename the company after him.

By the middle of the 20th century, the name Herman Miller had become synonymous with “modern” furniture. Working with legendary designers George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, the company produced pieces that would become classics of industrial design.

Since then, we’ve collaborated with some of the most outstanding designers in the world, including Alexander Girard, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Propst, Bill Stumpf, Don Chadwick, Ayse Birsel, Studio 7.5, Yves Béhar, Doug Ball and many talented others.

Today, in addition to our classic pieces and new designs for the home, Herman Miller is a recognised innovator in contemporary interior furnishings, solutions for healthcare environments and related technologies and services. A publicly held company headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, we have manufacturing facilities in the United States, China, Italy and the United Kingdom and sales offices, dealers, licensees and customers in over 100 countries.

→ Our Story: https://www.hermanmiller.com/