Throughout IBM’s history, like many other companies, it has undergone a series of dramatic logo (as well as name) changes. The one we know today, designed by Paul Rand in 1956 used a typeface called City, with a few alterations: extending the serifs & adding boxes in the ‘B’. The logo was later modified by Rand in 1972, adding eight stripes, & to this day has remained unchanged.
A new typeface, however is being extensively used by the company in recent years, becoming almost as iconic as the original. ITC Lubalin Graph has become a perfect counterpart for their logo & typographic fixture for IBM’s logo. The type has been seen all over recent type-heavy ads, as well as used as the signature for IBM’s advanced “question answering” machine named Watson, on Jeopardy this past February.
IBM has also further committed to the use of their typeface by using ITC Lubalin Graph as a webfont for the Watson pages on their website. Giving their new type identity consistency across different forms of media.
IBM print ads posted on Ads of the World in October 2010.
You can view more of IBM’s typographic progression as well as the use of their new font scheme in the following video, made to commemorate their 100th anniversary this year.