branding Dan Alexander collection at Chateau Carmirat design עיצוב ומיתוג דן אלכסנדר אנד קו

John Massey

Born in 1931, played a significant role in introducing European Modernism to Chicago. His influence extended through his work for Container Corporation of America from 1957 to 1983 and as the founder of the Center for Advanced Research in Design (CARD). After graduating with a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Massey’s early exposure to European designers like Armin Hofmann and Josef Miiller-Brockmann profoundly shaped his minimalist modern designs. His approach encompassed geometry, abstraction, scale, asymmetry, texture, white space, and a restrained use of modern, sans-serif typography.

Massey’s career began at the University of Illinois Press in 1956, working under Ralph Eckerstrom, a co-founder of Unimark International. Eckerstrom later invited Massey to join the Container Corporation of America in 1957. After Eckerstrom’s departure in 1964, Massey assumed the role of director of design, advertising, and public relations. At Container Corporation of America, he contributed to decision-making processes related to design’s impact on advertising, policy, marketing, management, and communications.

Massey’s belief in expanding the designer’s responsibilities beyond traditional boundaries was evident in his statement in Print magazine, emphasizing the influence of graphic design on the industry. He advocated for a comprehensive approach to design that evaluates the purposes and objectives of each project, aiming to reduce superficial and trite solutions in printed messages.

Before 1964, Massey ran his design firm in Chicago, which Container Corporation of America later acquired, forming the Center for Advanced Research in Design. His notable projects included an iconic cultural program for Chicago, starting in 1967, featuring bold abstract and geometric graphics. Massey also worked with Inland Steel, the Atlantic Richfield Company, and Herman Miller Furniture. His 1974 graphic system for the U.S. Department of Labor, developed under Richard Nixon’s Federal Design Improvement Program, showcased a recognizable logo mark, visual identity, and Graphic Communication Standards Manual, setting a standard for future publication designs.

In 1983, Massey left Container Corporation of America to establish his practice, contributing extensively to Herman Miller and leaving a lasting impact on the world of graphic design.

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