I came across the iconic work that Chermayeff & Geismar did for Pan Am on Flickr over the weekend, driven there as always it seems these days, via social media. In our often crazed, fast-paced digital culture, I find it always great and almost charming that after a discovery/reminder like this, I can slow down and soak up images like these as if they existed only in really ancient history; or they were from another planet. Slow food, slow music; slow design?
From the C&G website:
The most important aspect of the identity design for Pan Am was to suggest that the name of the airline be changed to "Pan Am" from the long and cumbersome "Pan American World Airways." The Pan Am logotype in capitals and lower-case letters was also adopted with an accompanying world symbol.
In addition to the corporate identity, Chermayeff & Geismar designed comprehensive graphics for the airline, including a poster campaign and the menus for the inaugural flight of the Boeing 747.
I like this comment from Chermayeff in an AIGA interview from 1980:
"We do not have an office style," Ivan Chermayeff has said, "like some designers who concentrate on graphics systems, such as grids. And we don't have a special style of illustration like those who are collectors of historical style motifs—Art Deco or 19th century typography. We are not involved in style and fashion in that way."