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Herb Lubalin

Herb Lubalin

At Motel we are inspired by mid-century design, especially American mid-century design, and as a branding agency we all get excited at the name Herb Lubalin. He was a prominent American typographer and brand designer known for his work across several fields from advertising, signage, posters and editorial design. He excelled in his work with typography becoming known as “the father of conceptual typography”, and is considered by some as being responsible for introducing expressive typography into print advertising. He saw the importance of life inside every letter and the symbolic use of colour, even though he was colour-blind himself.

Lubalin is one of the most successful art directors of the 20th Century, working at Reiss Advertising and agency Sudler and Hennessey. He had a monumentous two-decade run at S and H and made associates of many other great designers during that time. Lubalin eventually started his own studio, Herb Lubalin Inc in 1964, going on to alter the name and format of this studio several times up to his death in 1981. Lubalin designed some big brand identities and logos, at least 100 in his time. He collaborated with Coca-Cola on a version of the Sprite logo, and many more logos such as Families, Marriage, L’eggs and Dimension. The Mother & Child logo remained his favourite for years, although it was never actually used by the magazine.Most people connect the name Herb Lubalin with the typeface Avant Garde Gothic. He was the designer behind this iconic typeface, as well as collaborating on the Avant Garde magazine. He was also one of the founders of the International Typeface Corporation (ITC). ITC Avant Garde Gothic has become a solid staple in the repertoire of today’s graphic designers. The lowercase x-height and open counters help to make this family ideal for display copy and short blocks of text content. The ITC Avant Garde Gothic design is used in the corporate logo of Adidas and is one of the main typefaces in Sony’s corporate marketing programs.

Lubalin is a big design inspiration here at Motel and his impact on mid-century America encourages us to create and uphold quality and creativity on all our projects.

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