What is this?
A repeating pattern of the IBM logo in three different graphic presentations: narrowly outlined in black, heavily outlined in black, and solid blue. The darkly outlined logos form two vertical stripes.
Why is this in our collection?
Angelo Testa, the first graduate of the Chicago’s School of Design—the “New Bauhaus”—founded his textile firm in 1947. Designing patterns primarily for use within the architecture and interior design trade, his clients included many of the leading producers of mid-century modern furniture and fabrics, including Herman Miller, Knoll Associates, and Jens Risom.
Little is known about how the IBM fabric was used or how closely Rand and Testa worked on the design. When IBM premiered its boxy, geometric logotype in 1956, designed by Paul Rand, the idea of a coordinated corporate identity system was just taking off. Indeed, Rand’s logo design set the mark for a new standard of graphic communication in business. A corporate identity was intended to be more than a logo, however: it was conceived as a broader program encompassing signage, letterheads, packaging, publications, and more. By presenting the logo in several line weights as well as in solid blue, Rand and Testa imparted a varied tone and texture to the overall pattern of this textile design.
This object has been included in the following exhibitions: