Lindon Leader

Lindon Leader is probably not as well known as the other so called “superstar” designers such as Milton Glaser or Paul Rand but Lindon deserves just as much credit in my opinion.

Lindon from Landor Associates and LeaderCreative is the man behind the FedEx logo, the logo that has won over 40 awards, worldwide. Rolling Stone Magazine has also ranked it as one of the 8 best logos of the past thirty-five years,  along side Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, IBM, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Playboy which I would say is something to be very proud of.

FedEx Logo

FedEx Logo

Just in case you aren’t already aware, the genius behind the FedEx logo is found between the letters E and X. Hint: Look for an arrow.

Although Leader is most known for his work behind the FedEx logo he has also worked for many other huge names including Disney, Motorola, WorldCup USA, Ryder Trucks, Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Hawaiian Airlines and many more. You can see some more of his logo designs below.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines Logo

Interview Excerpts

When researching for this article, I came across a great interview with Leader about his design process for the FedEx logo. I was most intrigued with his replies to these two questions:

Did you have to manipulate the font in anyway to create a perfect arrow?

Yes, indeed. I was studying Univers 67 (Bold Condensed) and Futura Bold, both wonderful faces. But each had its potential limitations downstream in application to thousands of FedEx media, from waybills and embroidered courier caps to FedEx.com and massive signage for aircraft, buildings and vehicles. Moreover, neither was particularly suited to forcing an arrow into its assigned parking place without torturing the beautifully crafted letterforms of the respective faces. To avoid getting too technical here, suffice it to say I took the best characteristics of both and combined them into unique and proprietary letterforms that included both ligatures (connected letters) and a higher “x-height,” or increased size of the lower-case letters relative to the capital letters. I worked these features around until the arrow seemed quite natural in shape and location.

Disney Land Hotel Logo

Disney Land Hotel Logo

And I guess a lot of designers could relate to his Leader’s reply here…

Are you like a rock star in the world of logo design now?

Well, we Fortune 1000 identity guys and gals are behind the scenes most of the time. We do get our individual recognition from design competitions, but generally speaking, the design public only hears of the branding firm that created the design; in this case, Landor Associates. And the public at large doesn’t know who designs something or even cares to know. So, these days you won’t find me ducking crowds screaming for my autograph. No.

Baker's Dozen Logo

Baker's Dozen Logo

More Information on Lindon Leader

Lindon Leader is a graduate of Stanford University and Art Center College of Design and his work has appeared in numerous publications and is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution. He continues to lecture nationally on corporate identity and brand management topics.

Lindon Leader brings over twenty years of experience in corporate communications to the inter-mountain west. Lindon began his career at Bass/Yager Associates, Los Angeles and served as Design Coordinator for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. At Landor Associates (San Francisco), Lindon was responsible for broad ranging branding programs that included, among others, CIGNA, Dun & Bradstreet, Technicolor, Federal Express, Ryder Systems, DoubleTree Hotels, the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Brazil’s Banco Bradesco S.A., the largest private bank in Latin America.

As Landor’s Director of Integrated Branding, Lindon was largely responsible for broadening Landor’s capabilities to include innovative change management expertise. From 1999 to 2001, Lindon was Executive Creative Director at Addison (San Francisco) where he led corporate identity assignments for Hawaiian Airlines, Intelsat and Progress Energy.

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14 Comments For This Post

  1. Josiah Jost | Siah Design Says:

    Wow, never saw the bakers dozen logo before. Brilliant. Greater respect for Lindon Leader now. :D

  2. Amanda Says:

    I sat here in awe as I “just” noticed the arrow between the E and the X. I can’t believe I have overlooked this all my life. Should I be embarrased? It is quite a shame that these designers do not get more recongnition. Very nice article. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Jacob Cass Says:

    Amanda,
    There is always a first time for everyone so no reason to feel embarrassed, I am sure the majority of people (designers excluded) would even know about it. Glad to share the article.

  4. Kay Hwee Says:

    Now i wonder how the brilliance of the Fedex logo never surfaced in front of me.
    It’s so amazing, only one word can match up to it: perfect!
    Gotta admire how much though would have been put into this design to create something so amazing!

  5. muneef Says:

    Nice article, thanx
    best wishes for this website

  6. Stephen Emlund Says:

    I remember the first time I realized there was an arrow between the E and X. I was on an AIGA trip to Chicago with fellow design students at college and we were looking out our hotel window at a FedEx truck and from that distance and angle the arrow became apparent.

    Great Article

  7. Chaitanya VRK Says:

    Good information Jacob. Keep up the good work.

  8. Clippingimages Says:

    I Have seen this logo so much time but sort out the ARROW!!! Good informative post. Thanks Jacob

  9. Logon Says:

    Sometimes simple is very very good…

  10. Liminal Graphic Designers Cornwall Says:

    I’m all for simple, some company near us has ripped off the Fedex logo for their sandwich delivery service – so simple that it will be as current in 10 years as it was when it was designed.

    Ryan

  11. Noel Loans Says:

    Hello, probably this entry might be off topic but anyways, I have been surfing about your weblog and it looks very awesome. It is obvious you know your topic and you are passionate about it. We are setting up a fresh site and I’m attempting to make it look great, as well as provide quality writing. I?ve learned a good deal at this internet site in addition to I look forward to much more quality information and will be returning soon. Thanks.

  12. semantictemplates Says:

    Gland to know this history behind fedex logo.

  13. alex Says:

    Its amazing to know the concept behind the fedex logo. I like this website for providing brainstorming information. thanks.

  14. robb Says:

    Might want to do a little more research into who actually did the Fedex logo. While he may have taken credit for it, as most bosses do, I believe an intern from a university design program actually came up with the idea. They just never get the credit.

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