Visual Identity Program Records,
1966, 1979-1980, 1985-1995, 1998-2007

Summary
Collection ID:
Accession 07-147
Creators:
Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs
Dates:
1966, 1979-1980, 1985-1995, 1998-2007
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5 cu. ft. (5 record storage boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This accession consists of materials maintained by Kathryn B. Lindeman, Director of Publications, in regards to the implementation and coordination of the Visual Identity Program and its system of logos at the Smithsonian Institution (SI). Early in 1998, Smithsonian Institution Secretary I. Michael Heyman engaged the design firm of Chermayeff & Geismar in New York City to design a system of logos for the museums, research centers, and administrative offices of the Smithsonian.
In conjunction with designer Ivan Chermayeff, the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) issued a book, "Smithsonian Design Guidelines." These guidelines provided guidance for Smithsonian Institution staff and contractors in the proper usage of the Smithsonian Institution logo. For a copy of these guidelines see Accession 01-079.
The logo consists of the wording "Smithsonian Institution" accompanied by the sunburst. The sunburst has been used in Smithsonian Institution references from its beginnings in the mid-1800s for knowledge, enlightenment, and brightness. In the 1960s, a Smithsonian Institution seal was designed with a sunburst at the center. Chermayeff & Geismar used that sun in the new design. Over the years the various Smithsonian Institution museums, research centers, and units had developed their own logo designs, often including a sunburst, forming a patchwork of logos in use around the Smithsonian Institution with no cohesive visual identity. Secretary Heyman, feeling the strong need to unify the uses of the Smithsonian Institution name and the look of Smithsonian Institution logos, began the Visual Identity Program, which was continued under his successor, Secretary Lawrence M. Small.
Also represented in this accession is David J. Umansky, Director of Communications, who, along with Lindeman, oversaw the Visual Identity Program. Included are memoranda regarding guidance on the use of the Smithsonian Institution logo in stationery and the use of the "Smithsonian Design Guidelines" book; materials related to waivers on the use and implementation of the Smithsonian Institution logo; materials related to violations of the use of the Smithsonian Institution logo; cost and budget information regarding the logo designed by Chermayeff & Geismar, printing costs, and the licensing of the use of the Minion font; materials related to the creation of new podium plaques and badges for Office of Protection Services officers; materials related to the Visual Identity Program website; concept and schematic drawings for signage for various units and museums; information on previously used logos; and other related materials.
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, notes, drawings, reports, guidelines, stationery examples, printing samples, logo presentation materials, meeting minutes, color slides and photographs, and black-and-white transparencies. Some materials are in electronic format.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-147, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, Visual Identity Program Records
Use Restriction
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2023; Transferring office; 05/15/2007 memorandum, Toda to Jonas; Contact reference staff for details.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Chermayeff, Ivan Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heyman, Ira Michael, 1930-2011 Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lindeman, Kathryn B. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Small, Lawrence M. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Umansky, David J. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chermayeff & Geismar Associates Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chermayeff & Geismar Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Corporate image Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Logography Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Logos (Symbols) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Public relations. Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trademarks Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Floppy disks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Compact discs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color transparencies Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white transparencies Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu