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IBM 700 Series
IBM 700 Series
IBM 700 Series
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Endicott, NY
Endicott, NY
Endicott, NY
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Westinghouse
Westinghouse
Westinghouse
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Thomas J. Watson Jr.: The importance of good design in business first struck me one day in the early 1950’s, on Fifth Avenue, when I was looking into the window of the Olivetti Typewriter Company. It occurred to me at that moment that IBM didn’t have a very modern design concept of itself.
Thomas J. Watson Jr.: The importance of good design in business first struck me one day in the early 1950’s, on Fifth Avenue, when I was looking into the window of the Olivetti Typewriter Company. It occurred to me at that moment that IBM didn’t have a very modern design concept of itself.
Thomas J. Watson Jr.: The importance of good design in business first struck me one day in the early 1950’s, on Fifth Avenue, when I was looking into the window of the Olivetti Typewriter Company. It occurred to me at that moment that IBM didn’t have a very modern design concept of itself.
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I soon met with the late Mr. Adriano Olivetti, visited his base plant at Ivrea, Italy, and another plant in the Naples area. Mr Olivetti believed that buildings and offices and products should look modern and give a feel of efficiency. He expressed that attitude in a total design concept for his company. Olivetti was a very successful company under his leadership and the trip proved to me that design was making a major contribution to that success.
I soon met with the late Mr. Adriano Olivetti, visited his base plant at Ivrea, Italy, and another plant in the Naples area. Mr Olivetti believed that buildings and offices and products should look modern and give a feel of efficiency. He expressed that attitude in a total design concept for his company. Olivetti was a very successful company under his leadership and the trip proved to me that design was making a major contribution to that success.
I soon met with the late Mr. Adriano Olivetti, visited his base plant at Ivrea, Italy, and another plant in the Naples area. Mr Olivetti believed that buildings and offices and products should look modern and give a feel of efficiency. He expressed that attitude in a total design concept for his company. Olivetti was a very successful company under his leadership and the trip proved to me that design was making a major contribution to that success.
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Soon afterwards, I got a very thick letter from an old friend of mine who was general manager of IBM Holland. He was aware of my interest in revamping IBM’s corporate design and in what Olivetti was doing. In the letter were several dozen sales brochures — some ours, some Olivetti’s. He asked me, in the letter, to arrange the printed material of both companies side by side and ask myself whether something was lacking in the IBM material.
Well, of course, there was. We had no design theme or effort then. No identifiable or pleasing typography. No consistent color plan. Even our trademarks were laid out in jarring and dissimilar fashion. But the Olivetti material, spread alongside ours, has everything fitting together like a beautiful picture puzzle. Every individual piece of material added to the attractive whole.
By that time — about 1955 — IBM has acquired competence in the field of computers. We were building the first family of computers, the 700 series. These machines worked on vacuum tubes, and it seemed to me that the way they looked inside was the very essence of modern design. We decided the machines deserved to be equally modern in design on the outside.
Soon afterwards, I got a very thick letter from an old friend of mine who was general manager of IBM Holland. He was aware of my interest in revamping IBM’s corporate design and in what Olivetti was doing. In the letter were several dozen sales brochures — some ours, some Olivetti’s. He asked me, in the letter, to arrange the printed material of both companies side by side and ask myself whether something was lacking in the IBM material.
Well, of course, there was. We had no design theme or effort then. No identifiable or pleasing typography. No consistent color plan. Even our trademarks were laid out in jarring and dissimilar fashion. But the Olivetti material, spread alongside ours, has everything fitting together like a beautiful picture puzzle. Every individual piece of material added to the attractive whole.
By that time — about 1955 — IBM has acquired competence in the field of computers. We were building the first family of computers, the 700 series. These machines worked on vacuum tubes, and it seemed to me that the way they looked inside was the very essence of modern design. We decided the machines deserved to be equally modern in design on the outside.
Soon afterwards, I got a very thick letter from an old friend of mine who was general manager of IBM Holland. He was aware of my interest in revamping IBM’s corporate design and in what Olivetti was doing. In the letter were several dozen sales brochures — some ours, some Olivetti’s. He asked me, in the letter, to arrange the printed material of both companies side by side and ask myself whether something was lacking in the IBM material.
Well, of course, there was. We had no design theme or effort then. No identifiable or pleasing typography. No consistent color plan. Even our trademarks were laid out in jarring and dissimilar fashion. But the Olivetti material, spread alongside ours, has everything fitting together like a beautiful picture puzzle. Every individual piece of material added to the attractive whole.
By that time — about 1955 — IBM has acquired competence in the field of computers. We were building the first family of computers, the 700 series. These machines worked on vacuum tubes, and it seemed to me that the way they looked inside was the very essence of modern design. We decided the machines deserved to be equally modern in design on the outside.
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Thomas J. Watson Jr.: The top IBM executives met in the Poconos Mountains and spent several days in a hotel trying to decide how to best advance IBM’s own design. In that bargain, we thought we might be able to move forward the total state of industrial design — in architecture, typography, color scheme — the whole spectrum.
During the war, I had met an individual who was in charge of the Air Force glider program. Eliot Noyes. I kept track of him. I knew he was in the design business and I knew he was considered one of the best. In fact, when I met him once after the war, he was a respected member of the firm of Norman Bel Geddes and Company.
So I invited Eliot to address our group in the Poconos on what a total corporate design program might involve. We had many pictures with us of IBM factories, offices, machines, promotional literature, machine instruction booklets and so forth. They were universally terrible.
Thomas J. Watson Jr.: The top IBM executives met in the Poconos Mountains and spent several days in a hotel trying to decide how to best advance IBM’s own design. In that bargain, we thought we might be able to move forward the total state of industrial design — in architecture, typography, color scheme — the whole spectrum.
During the war, I had met an individual who was in charge of the Air Force glider program. Eliot Noyes. I kept track of him. I knew he was in the design business and I knew he was considered one of the best. In fact, when I met him once after the war, he was a respected member of the firm of Norman Bel Geddes and Company.
So I invited Eliot to address our group in the Poconos on what a total corporate design program might involve. We had many pictures with us of IBM factories, offices, machines, promotional literature, machine instruction booklets and so forth. They were universally terrible.
Thomas J. Watson Jr.: The top IBM executives met in the Poconos Mountains and spent several days in a hotel trying to decide how to best advance IBM’s own design. In that bargain, we thought we might be able to move forward the total state of industrial design — in architecture, typography, color scheme — the whole spectrum.
During the war, I had met an individual who was in charge of the Air Force glider program. Eliot Noyes. I kept track of him. I knew he was in the design business and I knew he was considered one of the best. In fact, when I met him once after the war, he was a respected member of the firm of Norman Bel Geddes and Company.
So I invited Eliot to address our group in the Poconos on what a total corporate design program might involve. We had many pictures with us of IBM factories, offices, machines, promotional literature, machine instruction booklets and so forth. They were universally terrible.

IBM Plex® Condensed styles

Thin
Extra Light
Light
Regular
Text
Medium
Semi Bold
Bold
Thin Italic
Extra Light Italic
Light Italic
Regular Italic
Text Italic
Medium Italic
Semi Bold Italic
Bold Italic
Thin
Thin Italic
Extra Light
Extra Light Italic
Light
Light Italic
Regular
Regular Italic
Text
Text Italic
Medium
Medium Italic
Semi Bold
Semi Bold Italic
Bold
Bold Italic

Summary

IBM Plex is the new open source corporate typeface for IBM. Designed in collaboration with Bold Monday it has been carefully tuned to meet the requirements for one of the largest technology companies in the world and to reflect IBM’s brand spirit, beliefs, and design principles. The new design of the typeface is rooted in the idea of man and machine, and borrows influences from sources such as the IBM logotype and historical typewriter typefaces. The balance of engineering versus design set the principles from which this design was born.

At this moment the IBM Plex family comprises sans-serif, serif, condensed, and monospace styles to serve a variety of needs across communications and digital experiences. The sans and the serif are the workhorse families and the monospaced is great for informal communication and for developers to code with. Each branch of the IBM Plex family comes in eight weights with italics.

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