Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Client: Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) was one of America’s most significant post-war artists, and for much of his career he was based in the Bay Area, where his family still resides. Prior to the long-awaited release by Yale University Press of Diebenkorn’s Catalogue Raisonné, we were contracted to create a graphic system to represent the foundation which oversees the legacy, authenticity and use of his work. Working with the foundation, including key members of the family, we delved deep into who Diebenkorn was—as both an artist and person. Early on we were told that Diebenkorn would have hated having the idea of designers creating a logo that represented him. Rather than take offense, this position helped guide our work towards an identity that felt true and respectful. The resulting wordmark is simple, sturdy and direct, using a particular tone of blue often found in his work, and paired with an etching from his iconic “clubs and spades” series.