Tom Geismar, widely considered a pioneer of American graphic design, is a founding principal of Chermayeff & Geismar. Over the past four decades he has designed more than 100 corporate identity programs. His logo designs and graphics programs for Mobil, Chase Bank, PBS, Univision, Xerox, National Geographic, Rockefeller Center, Best Products, Screen Gems and Gemini Consulting, among others, have received wide recognition.
Geismar has also been responsible for many of his client firms’ exhibition designs and world’s fair pavilions. Burlington Industries’ The Mill was a major New York City tourist attraction for 10 years. The exhibitions he designed for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Statue of Liberty Museum, and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum remain major attractions today. For the Library of Congress, he designed a series of special exhibits and a series of permanent murals that reflect its broad collections.
For his design work, Geismar has received all the major awards in the field, including the American Institute of Graphic Arts gold medal, the First International Design Award from the Japan Design Foundation, and, for helping to establish a national system of standardized transportation symbols, one of the first Presidential Design Awards.
Geismar is the designer/author of a major book on American folk sculpture, Spiritually Moving (Abrams, 1998). He also coauthored TM, a monograph on the firm’s trademark designs (Princeton Architectural Press, 2000); Designing, which describes the firm’s approach to design (Graphis, 2003); Watching Words Move, an experimental type study (Chronicle Books, 2006); and Identify, a new book on the work of Chermayeff & Geismar (Print, 2011).
Geismar concurrently attended the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown, he received a master’s degree in graphic design from Yale University School of Art and Architecture.