Alan Peckolick and thoughts on logo design

On August 9th, the marketing world lost a talented designer that had created some of the most recognized logos in the world. Alan Peckolick died at the age of 76. Kicked out of his college’s illustration program due to poor drawing ability, he went on to create logos for General Motors, Revlon, Pfizer and Asics to name a few. In my opinion, Mr. Peckolick was an example that logo design is more than just artwork. Logos must be more than eye catching. They must also find a way to positively help the brand position itself in the minds of the consumer. Too many times you see logos that people remember because of the fantastic artwork. However, when asked to name the brand they seldom remember. The logo for FoxFury Lighting is such an example. Fox Fire Logo



Having cutting edge artwork doesn’t work if the consumer has to spend time figuring out the logo. As a standalone logo, it is difficult to associate it with Fox Fire. The 2012 London Olympics design is an example of a logo that is too cutting edge. People complained that it was too complex and difficult to understand right away.

2012 Olympics Logo





Excellent logo designers, like Mr. Peckolick, understand that good logo design is many times rooted in simplicity. GM’s simple san sarif “GM” over a white bar and blue square background is striking, memorable, conveys power and promotes brand recognition.

GM Logo






Pfizer’s simple blue oval with “Pfizer” spelled out would not make much of an impression. However, when the “f” was emphasized by making it the tallest of the letters, extending through the bottom of the oval, it became memorable because it caused the reader to take a nanosecond longer to consider why the “f” was larger than the “p” before it. It suggested to the reader that the “p” was silent. That nanosecond burned the brand into the reader’s mind.

Pfizer logo






These are two examples of how Mr. Peckolick used not only his artistic talents, but his understanding of the consumer’s thought process and his imagination to create outstanding logos. He is an inspiration to all aspiring designers.