Sagi Haviv is a partner and designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. Among the over 50 identity programs he has designed are the logos for the Library of Congress, CFA Institute, Harvard University Press, Conservation International, Women’s World Banking, and the US Open. Sagi designed the award-winning animation “Logomotion,” a ten-minute tribute to the firm’s famous trademarks that was not only the first animated trademark sequence of such scope but also introduced a new approach to showcasing a firm’s portfolio.
— The Logo Creative™ ✏ (@thelogocreative) August 15, 2018
Sagi’s other motion graphics work includes the opening sequences for PBS documentary series such as Carrier, Circus, and Half The Sky. Sagi joined the firm in 2003 after graduating from The Cooper Union School of Art.
He joined the firm as an intern; became a partner in 2005; and, in 2013, his name was added to the firm’s (at that time) 56 year old masthead.
Sagi has been in the media spotlight for over a decade as the go-to expert on the process of effective logo design for Bloomberg Businessweek, PBS, Fast Co. Design, NBC’s Meet The Press, HOW, and Print. He speaks about logo design around the world, including for TEDx, the AIGA, the HOW Design Conference, the Brand New Conference, Princeton University, the Onassis Foundation, the American Advertising Federation, and Columbia Business School, amongst many others. He also teaches Visual Identity Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
He teaches Visual Identity Design at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. A frequent speaker, Sagi has given lectures and conducted workshops at AIGA conferences, the HOW conference, the Onassis Foundation, as well as at design schools and institutions around the world. Sagi is a coauthor of Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar and Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (Standards Manual, 2018)
The Logo Creative – Hi Sagi it’s nice to have you take part in a designer interview
Sagi Haviv – Thanks so much for reaching out. I would love to do the interview.
The Logo Creative – What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer and how did you proceed?
Sagi Haviv – Studying typography with French master Philippe Apeloig at Cooper Union is what did it for me. His passion for design is contagious.
The Logo Creative – What does your day consist of?
Sagi Haviv – Design %60 – Goofing around %10 – Talking with clients 30%
The Logo Creative – Are you a morning person or night owl and is there a reason why?
Sagi Haviv – Definitely morning. The night is for sleeping.
The Logo Creative – What was the first logo you ever designed?
Sagi Haviv – Garrison Institute
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo you have designed?
Sagi Haviv – I don’t discriminate, but the US Open mark holds a special place.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logos of all time?
Sagi Haviv – CBS eye
The Logo Creative – Can you describe or give us an overview of your logo design process?
Sagi Haviv – Listen to the client, then draw.
The Logo Creative – How long does it take to complete the average logo design project from start to finish?
Sagi Haviv – Ten to twelve weeks
The Logo Creative – What are you recommended design books to read?
Sagi Haviv – World Trademarks: 100 Years, a two volume set published by Graphis.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite style of logo design? And why?
Sagi Haviv – I don’t look for logo style, I look for the one that works.
The Logo Creative – What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Sagi Haviv – What does this client need?
The Logo Creative – In your opinion what’s the best and worst part of your job being a designer?
Sagi Haviv – Best: we get to learn about lots of different things. Worst: Can’t think of anything.
The Logo Creative – Who is your favourite Graphic Designer and why?
Sagi Haviv – There isn’t one designer. There are many great designers that have had amazing ideas and were able to bring them to fruition and get them adopted by clients. If I had to say one, it would be Ikko Tanaka.
The Logo Creative – In less than 10 words what is graphic design?
Sagi Haviv – Solution to a problem through an idea that takes form.
The Logo Creative – What steps did you take to start your graphic design business? Did you have to make any sacrifices on your journey?
Sagi Haviv – My design business was started by Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar in 1957. It felt like home from the start, so there weren’t many sacrifices.
The Logo Creative – Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you would have changed early on in your career?
Sagi Haviv – No regrets.
The Logo Creative – If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Sagi Haviv – Other people don’t know anything that you don’t.
The Logo Creative – What’s the most important piece of advice you have received as a designer that’s helped you?
Sagi Haviv – At my graduation ceremony from Cooper Union, the commencement speech was given by performance artist Laurie Anderson. She concluded her speech with great advice to the graduates: “don’t wait to be asked.”
The Logo Creative – What would be your advice for new Logo and Graphic Designers?
Sagi Haviv – Focus on the quality of your work, not just on making your client happy.
Also published on Medium.