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Design Logic Records

 Collection
Identifier: 1989-12

Collection Scope

The collection consists chiefly of product images (transparencies and slides).

Series I: Industrial and Product Design (1981-1988) contains a small amount of print material focusing on three to four of the more successful designs of the company, including the View-Master redesign, the Compact Disc Video Camera, the RC Computer Terminal and the digital answering machine concepts.

Series II: Photographs (1985-1989) contains a number of beautifully photographed transparencies of major Design Logic products, as well as slides of many other products. There are slides that represent the work of several CAA students.

Design drawings are cataloged and searchable in the online library catalog.

Dates

  • 1985 - 1989

Creator

Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Use

Copyright to this collection has been retained by the creators. Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.

History

Design Logic was founded in March 1985 in Chicago by David Gresham and Martin Thaler. Gresham was a student of Katherine and Michael McCoy at the Cranbrook Academy of Art (CAA) at the time he began the company. He received his master’s degree in design in 1986. Thaler is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the Royal College of Art. The two met while working at the ITT Corporate Design Center. A third designer, James Ludwig, joined the company in 1987. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

The company espoused a philosophy called product semantics, which was the title of Gresham’s thesis at CAA. It meant “to embed necessary information in the design of the product: how to use it, how to regard it, where to put it, how it fit into your life.”

Martin Thaler’s view of the company’s goal was: “We want to make products with exuberance, humor. Then maybe people will use them more and buy more”.

Design Logic’s major clients were mainly outside the Chicago area, and in Europe, and included Bang & Olufsen, Dictaphone and View-Master. They designed a family of workstation terminals for RC Computer in Denmark. Design Logic won several awards, including Industrial Design (ID) Annual Design Review’s best of category award (1988) for three digital answering machine concepts, and the ID Magazine Designer’s Choice award in 1986 for their Compact Disc Video Camera and the View-Master.

Though Gresham left the company in 1989, Thaler and Ludwig continued to complete projects and to design under the company name until 1993.

Thaler is currently visiting associate professor at the ITT Institute of Design and Gresham is the vice president of Wet Design. Ludwig is vice president of global design for Steelcase, Inc.

Extent

3.3 Linear Feet ((3 MS, 2 OS). 2 OS contain 9 slide boxes.)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Design Logic was founded in March 1985 in Chicago by David Gresham and Martin Thaler. Gresham was a student of Katherine and Michael McCoy at the Cranbrook Academy of Art (CAA) at the time he began the company. He received his master’s degree in design in 1986. Thaler is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the Royal College of Art. The two met while working at the ITT Corporate Design Center. A third designer, James Ludwig, joined the company in 1987. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. The company espoused a philosophy called product semantics, which was the title of Gresham’s thesis at CAA. It meant “to embed necessary information in the design of the product: how to use it, how to regard it, where to put it, how it fit into your life.” Martin Thaler’s view of the company’s goal was: “We want to make products with exuberance, humor. Then maybe people will use them more and buy more”. Though Gresham left the company in 1989, Thaler and Ludwig continued to complete projects and to design under the company name until 1993. Thaler is currently visiting associate professor at the ITT Institute of Design and Gresham is the vice president of Wet Design. Ludwig is vice president of global design for Steelcase, Inc. The collection consists chiefly of product images (transparencies and slides).

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically in two series: Industrial and Product Design (boxes 1-2), and Photographs (boxes 2-5).

Acquisition

Gift of Martin Thaler.

Related Materials

Katherine & Michael McCoy Papers (1995-01)

Cranbrook Academy of Art President's Office: Roy Slade Records (1995-09)

Transfers

There are 493 design drawings cataloged in Horizon, an online cataloging database. The majority of the drawings are cataloged as sets, either of entire projects or when there are numerous drawings for a project, as discrete sets within the project. Some of these sets are clearly defined by a range of drawing numbers. Others sets are artificial, based on either an aspect of a project, a date range, the designer or other criteria. Some difficult to identify conceptual sketches and unidentified drawings remain with the design they were stored with upon arrival from the donor.

Processing History

Processed by Cheri Y. Gay, 2015.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Design Logic Records
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid written by Cheri Y. Gay.
Date
2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository

Contact:
39221 Woodward Ave.
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills MI 48303 US