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.
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.
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.
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.
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.