IBM, Federal Systems Division Brochure designed by Arthur Boden

Feature by

The Mid Century Graphics of IBM

When I think of the graphic design for IBM (The International Business Machines Corporation), I instantly think of the company  symbol designed by Paul Rand and its lettering and design manual from the identity. 

They were many other designs who played an important role in IBM’s graphic identity and implementation. Some of the other designers included Arthur Boden, Clarence Lee, Charles Keddie and Mary Beresford. 

IBM are a great example of a company that understands and utilises the power of design. Architects such as Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and Charles Eames worked with IBM on projects and commissions, collaborators from around the worked on the design or products, print and advertising.

Willy Rotzler in Graphis 106, 1963 states:

‘In less than ten years IBM has succeeded in developing a company style that is distinguished not so much by any external features as by its guiding principles. The implication of the style is that IBM stands for quality and for progress in the full sense of these words. On this basis a design programme was first worked out and put into action along lines comparable with the company’s ambitious and systematic development work in the technical and scientific fields. The guiding principles were soon incorporated in every detail of production and presentation. The aim was thus more than the superficial creation of a modern symbol Or gimmick; the stylistic approach found was the expression of a philosophy, of a business outlook. It was consequently not enough to entrust a single designer with the creation of typical, recurrent elements of an external style. Instead, the assistance of progressive personalities who were ready to place their creative powers at the service of the scheme was enlisted for a wide variety of commissions in America and in all other parts of the world where IBM makes or sells its products.’

 

Here are a sample of the designs produced between 1955 and 1963, scanned from Graphis 106, 1963.

The designs below are a section of the covers from booklets, brochures and folders for various computers and equipment by IBM

IBM, Federal Systems Division Brochure designed by Arthur Boden
IBM, Federal Systems Division Brochure designed by Arthur Boden

 

IBM Brochures designed by Clarence Lee
IBM Brochures designed by Clarence Lee

 

IBM, Federal Systems Division Interior Spread designed by Arthur Boden
IBM, Federal Systems Division Interior Spread designed by Arthur Boden

 

IBM, Equipment Brochure designed by Mary Beresford
IBM, Equipment Brochure designed by Mary Beresford

 

IBM, Equipment and Machine Brochures designed by Mary Beresford
IBM, Equipment and Machine Brochures designed by Mary Beresford

 

IBM, Booklet designed Clarence Lee
IBM, Booklet designed Clarence Lee

 

IBM, Equipment Brochure designed by Mary Beresford
IBM, Equipment Brochure designed by Mary Beresford

 

IBM Proof Machine Supplies Booklet designed Charles Keddie
IBM Proof Machine Supplies Booklet designed Charles Keddie

 

 

These are some of the covers of internal brochure for employees and IBM engineers

IBM Equipment and Employee Benefit Plans Brochures designed by Arthur Boden
IBM Equipment and Employee Benefit Plans Brochures designed by Arthur Boden

Related Items from the Archive

From my archive:

More articles

The UK’s first vintage poster market is to launch as a 3-day pop-up at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham 14-16 May. Entry is free.