I wish I had designed the CBS eye logo. I’ve designed a few logos for television networks and other entertainment businesses and I invariably sketch this logo. Then I realize that it’s already been done. When it was designed in the 50s, to CBS it represented the network looking out at the world, but I always read it as us looking at CBS. I love that you can read it either way. I think a good logo should also be easy to draw. It’s a sign of how easily it can be embedded in people’s minds. The longevity of the CBS logo is a true testament to the power of simplicity.
It was designed by William Golden, who was the creative director of CBS in the early days of television. I have a very worn copy of his out-of-print book “The Visual Craft of William Golden”, which is one of my favorite go-to sources for inspiration. And to make it even better, he was married to another designer I love, the little-known magazine designer Cipe Pineles. I like to think she helped him with the design of the CBS eye, just a bit.
Bonnie Siegler is the founder of Eight and a Half. Current clients include Brooklyn Public Library, Warner Brothers Television, Random House, Nickelodeon and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Before Eight and a Half, Bonnie co-founded design studio Number 17 (the new name makes sense now, doesn’t it?) with partner Emily Oberman.