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.
So 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 documenting, 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 leaving 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.
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 – HermanMiller now removed from the logo mark which now represents the entire Herman Miller brand as seen on their website.