2017 seems to be the year of centennials. Charlie Chaplin films, Felix the Cat, the Pulitzer Prize, renowned comics artist Jack Kirby, the Converse Rubber Shoe Company, and now Forbes magazine. For 100 years now, Forbes has been the place to go when you need the latest in anything from finances, investing and marketing to technology, politics and law.
“The capitalist tool” has been releasing bi-weekly issues of their magazine since 1917, and now PRINT has the chance to celebrate 100 years of Forbes magazine logo designs. The first design for the magazine fell in line with the Arts & Crafts movement that had been flourishing across the US and Europe since the 1880s.
Only two years later, Forbes updated their logo design to be more ornamental, a nod to the Beaux-Arts architecture style being taught at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
“I believe the 1934 logo was based on the handwriting of [founder] B.C. Forbes himself,” recalls longtime Forbes art and design director Robert Mansfield, “although [it was] influenced by the Ford logo.” Ford had been established 30 years prior and was booming by the mid-thirties.
“The 1978 logo was designed by Ray Cruz—it was a radical departure from the sans serif Franklin Gothic design that was used the previous 24 years,” explains Mansfield. “In 1999, David Herbick and I designed the current logo.”
After so many changes topped off with 18 years of a Times New Roman-look, the question is: will Forbes update the company’s logo design in celebration of 100 years in business?
“Our philosophy is that this logo is sacred and should not be tampered with. It’s a crucial element of our brand. In the words of designer Roger Black: ‘You have to remember that this isn’t your logo, it’s the reader’s logo.'”
Happy birthday, Forbes! And here’s to another 100 years.