This week, our famous logo designer series brings you Lindon Leader. Lindon Leader is a highly esteemed American graphic artist. He has won numerous awards for his innovation and graphic design. He is credited with designing one of the most recognizable logos in the world – the FedEx logo.
Leader attended Stanford University, where he received a degree in Political Science. He also earned a degree in Advertising Design from the Art Center College of Design. His first position out of college was working with another famous logo designer, Saul Bass. As a junior designer, Leader was not allowed to attend major presentations. Even though he was not supposed to be there, he hid behind a curtain, to listen to, and learn from, Saul Bass.
It was as the senior design director in the San Francisco office of Landor Associates that he designed the FedEx logo. He wanted the logo to do more than just say a name. He wanted to give more information about what the company did. This is how he came up with the idea to put an arrow between the E and the X. Although he had the idea, none of the fonts worked well enough to look correct. He ended up doing a modification of two different fonts to make it work
Lindon Leader now runs his own firm, Leader Creative. He has supervised corporate design programs for CIGNA, DoubleTree Hotels, Hawaiian Airlines, as well as many others. Leader’s work has been featured in several international publications, and some of his work has shown up in permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution.
Leader enjoys lecturing on corporate identity and brand management. He teaches that, “The ability to verbally articulate design is critical to selling it to a client…. If a client asks you why you’re recommending a design approach and you reply, “I don’t know; I just really like it,” you won’t get very far down the corporate design road.” Leader also believes that starting with a Political Science degree, helped him learn to see things in a more well-rounded way. He recommends that students first pursue at least two years of solid general education before focusing on a commercial art education. The time and expense will be very beneficial in the future.
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