A spruce up
Lester Beall's 1958 logo for International Paper Company
International Paper Company (IP) was formed in 1898 from the merger of 17 pulp and paper mills scattered across northeastern United States. These ranged from small mills with 11 ton daily production outputs to advanced industrial facilities with over 150 tons. Growth followed, and the corporation became a major exporter with sales offices in London, Paris, Zurich and Johannesburg. By the late 1950s IP began planning an expansion into overseas production.
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Ahead of this, IP undertook an extensive study of its paper users and paper merchants. Despite having become the world's biggest manufacturer of printing papers, the study revealed that the corporation and its products were not well-known. Additional research suggested that the absence of a cohesive corporate image across packaging, signage, trucks, letterheads and business forms was a key cause of such poor recognition. Alongside this, it was felt that the current trademark had proven to be impractical and hard to use, and not well-suited to the diverse reproduction needs of the company, from severe enlargement (signage) to reduction (stationery). Further, it was not simple enough to support recognition and recall.
Continue reading to understand the concept behind the International Paper logo, and see how this was applied to signage, stationery and vehicle liveries.