Rolling out a new identity
Gary Hinsche's 1970 logo for Crown Zellerbach.
In 1870 Anthony Zellerbach, an immigrant from Bavaria, established a small stationery business in San Francisco. Over the next century it grew to become one of the largest forestry product and industrial corporations in the USA, producing lumber and plywood, wood paneling, pulp and paper.
As Crown Zellerbach, the corporation contributed significantly to the industrial growth of North America, diversifying significantly since its foundation. By the beginning of the 1970s, it was made up of a number of subsidiaries servicing different industries. Each of these traded under their own visual identities. The absence of a coherent design policy had created a ‘chaotic’ and fragmented image. Rather than appearing as a large conglomerate the company appeared far smaller.
Two years ahead of its centenary it was decided that the corporation begin developing a formalised design policy, unifying the subsidiaries and see the company ‘reborn’. To achieve this, Crown Zellerbach worked with San Francisco-based design consultancy Robert Miles Runyan & Associates Inc.