Thursday, March 20, 2008
George Tscherny's success as a designer can be traced back to his childhood, adolescence and early professional years when his resolve to overcome the vicissitudes of fate proved to him how important tenacity can be. For the Uris Buildings Corporation, which during the late 1950s and early 1960s was one of the major construction firms in New York, he designed a black-and-white annual report cover showing a few artless building blocks asymmetrically composed—a decidedly abstract yet playful idea, which he says "sneaked its way through because one man was convinced that it was the right symbolism." For Millipore, an manufacturer of scientific instruments for which he designed the identity, Tscherny determined that a style manual—the sacred bible of corporate communications—had little value because "bad designers will use it improperly, and good designers should not be constricted by too many rules." Instead of a typically elaborate and costly system, Tscherny produced a series of "corporate identity samplers" which concisely describe the graphic parameters within which the designers should work. Again, his corporate mentor saw the logic in this strategy (AIGA).