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Lippincott Mercer records
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Lippincott Mercer records

Accession 2206

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807

Finding aid prepared by Christopher T. Baer, 1999

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-04-08T19:37-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Lippincott Mercer records (Accession 2206), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807


Descriptive Summary

Title: Lippincott Mercer records
Dates: 1956-2004
Accession Number: 2206
Creator: Lippincott Mercer (A Division of Mercer Management Consulting, Inc.).
Extent: 1 linear foot
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., and its successor Lippincott Mercer, is a major international design consultancy specializing in corporate identity, branding, image, and marketing. They pioneered the post-1950 development of branding as comprehensive corporate identity. The records consist of a set of the company's magazine, Design Sense.

Administrative Information


Deposit of Lippincott & Margulies, Inc.


Historical Note

Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., and its successor Lippincott Mercer is a major international design consultancy specializing in corporate identity, image, and marketing.

The firm was founded by J. Gordon Lippincott, a civil engineer, who opened an industrial design office in New York in 1943. Walter P. Margulies became a partner in 1945. The firm's original focus was on traditional product-​oriented industrial design, including the innovative but short-lived Tucker automobile. Within a few years, they expanded into packaging, riding the crest of the postwar transition to a consumer economy. Their first significant packaging assignment was the redesign of the Campbell's Soup can.

By the early 1960s, Lippincott & Margulies had moved away from a more traditional concern with individual products to emphasize marketing and corporate image. It was J. Gordon Lippincott who first coined the term "corporate identity", and the firm pioneered the linking of name, logo, advertising and packaging into an integrated and uniform marketing tool. The firm has numbered among its clients a distinguished roster of consumer goods and service companies and has designed many of our most familiar corporate logos, including those of FTD, Betty Crocker, General Mills, Chrysler, Eastern Air Lines, Del Monte, RCA, American Express, Amtrak, Pizza Hut, Red Lobster, Baskin Robbins, and Infiniti.

Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., was acquired by Marsh and McLennan Companies, Inc., in 1986. Marsh and McLennan is a major management consulting conglomerate. Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., soon began working in tandem with another Marsh and McLennan property, Mercer Management Consulting, Inc. Mercer had developed the application of advanced quantitative modeling techniques to branding issues since the 1970's, and its clients included American Express, Continental Airlines, IBM, AOL, Sprint and Citigroup. In January 2003, Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., was merged into Mercer Management Consulting, Inc., as a division called Lippincott Mercer.


Scope and Content

The records consist of a set of the company's magazine, Design Sense. Although missing four numbers, it is the most complete set extant. Beginning with No. 6, each issue was identified in a continuous number sequence, and the majority had a single theme and title. The title of the serial was changed to Sense with No. 59. The magazine was circulated to actual and prospective clients and contained short articles on marketing and design trends along with case studies derived from the firm's practice.

As a publicity vehicle, the magazine's coverage tends to be broad rather than deep when it comes to describing the firm's actual work. That is, it covers many of Lippincott & Margulies's major clients, but lacks the detail that would have been found in actual design studies and presentations. However, the magazine is copiously illustrated with examples of the firm's designs for logos, signage, packaging, store displays, and the interiors of theme and fast food restaurants. Of particular note is their work with S.C. Johnson & Son (Johnson's Wax), including the design of its pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Apart from the case studies, there are many articles of a general nature charting the changes in the consumer economy over the last half of the twentieth century, including the emergence of a separate youth market, the habits of women shoppers, growing globalization of markets, and the role of corporate image in the volatile world of mergers and divestitures.

Most issues are photocopies of originals held by Lippincott & Margulies, Inc.


Access Points

American Express Company.
American Motors Corporation.
American Tobacco Company.
Bendix Corporation.
Borg-Warner Corporation.
Brand name products.
Business consultants.
Business names.
Chrysler Corporation.
Cities Service Oil Company.
Coca-Cola Company.
Color in advertising.
Color in marketing.
Commercial art--Periodicals.
Communication in management.
Communication in marketing.
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Consolidation and merger of corporations.
Consumer goods.
Corporate divestiture.
Corporate image.
Corporate reorganizations.
Design sense.
Design, Industrial.
Eastern Air Lines, Inc.
European Economic Community.
General Electric Company.
General Foods Corporation.
House brands.
Imperial Tobacco Company of Canada, Ltd.
Industrial design coordination.
Industrial designers.
Institutional advertising.
International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation.
Kraft Foods Company.
Lippincott & Margulies, Inc.
Lippincott, J. Gordon (Joshua Gordon), 1909-1998.
Logos (Symbols).
Marketing consultants.
Marketing research.
Nestlé Company, Inc.
New England Confectionery Company.
New York Life Insurance Company.
New York World's Fair (1964-1965).
Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation.
Package design.
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pet Milk Company.
Radio Corporation of America.
Royal Bank of Canada.
Royal McBee Corporation.
S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Sense (New York, N.Y.).
Starbucks Coffee Company.
Supermarkets General Corporation.
Sylvania Electric Products, Inc.
Tucker automobile.
United States Rubber Company.
Women consumers.
Xerox Corporation.
Young consumers.

Series Descriptions and Inventory

1 Design Sense 1 (Vol. 1, No. 2): Design Can't Stand Still, 1956
1 Design Sense 2 (Vol. 1, No. 3): Is Good Design Practical, 1956
1 Design Sense 3 (Vol. 1, No. 4): Super Market Issue, 1956
1 Design Sense 4 (Vol. 1, No. 5): Nameplates Mean More Than You Think, 1956
1 Design Sense 5 (Vol. 2, No. 2): A New Shopping Town, 1957
1 Design Sense 6: Package Research Conference Issue, 1957
1 Design Sense 7: Special Trademark Issue
1 Design Sense 8: Planning for New Products, Part I
1 Design Sense 9: Planning for New Products, Part II
1 Design Sense 10: Uni-Marketing; New Challenge to National Brand Sales
1 Design Sense 12: How Much Is Good Design Worth?
1 Design Sense 13: Corporate Identity, Part I
1 Design Sense 14: Corporate Identity, Part II
1 Design Sense 15: Image Communication for Companies & Products
1 Design Sense 16: Revolution in the Marketplace
1 Design Sense 17: Progress Report on Design Research
1 Design Sense 18: Design for World Markets
1 Design Sense 19: Design for Systems Marketing
1 Design Sense 20: A New Approach to New Product Planning
1 Design Sense 21: The Design-Marketing Consultant
1 Design Sense 22: Special Issue on Advertising and Total Marketing
1 Design Sense 23: The Marketing-Concept Package
1 Design Sense 24: “The Name's the Thing”
1 Design Sense 25: Communication Pitfalls of Mergers
1 Design Sense 26: Corporate Name Changing/Centripetal Marketing
1 Design Sense 27: Think Small for Bigger Profits/Industrial Design
1 Design Sense 28: Corporate Endorsement/Corporate Image/Johnson's Wax
1 Design Sense 29: Why Women Shoppers Buy
1 Design Sense 30: Can Total Marketing Help?
1 Design Sense 31: Special Marketing Issue
1 Design Sense 32: New Products: Boon or Burden?
1 Design Sense 33: A Study in Modern Marketing: Montclair Cigarettes
1 Design Sense 34: Creativity/Color/Names and Symbols
1 Design Sense 35: Communication Snarls/Good Taste/Humor in Marketing
1 Design Sense 36: Special Issue - Chrysler Corporation
1 Design Sense 37: Corporate Identity
1 Design Sense 38: The Creative Man
1 Design Sense 39: The Taste of Color
1 Design Sense 40: Johnson Goes to the Fair, 1964
1 Design Sense 41: U.S. Rubber/Borg-Warner
1 Design Sense 42: International Markets
1 Design Sense 43: Closing the Image Gap
1 Design Sense 44: Corporate Turnaround
1 Design Sense 45: Position Your Product, Sign Your Ad
1 Design Sense 46: Ici on Parle Marketing ethnique
1 Design Sense 47: The Youth Market
1 Design Sense 48: Marketing & the Supreme Court/New York Life
1 Design Sense 49: Wall Street & Corporate Image
1 Design Sense 50: Global Communications
1 Design Sense 51: Overkill: Marketing's Most Expensive Mistakes
1 Design Sense 52: Canada's Future: Market or Marketer?
1 Design Sense 53: To Change or Not to Change Your Package
1 Design Sense 54: The New Adults/Bendix Corporation
1 Design Sense 55: Growth and Your Price-Earnings Ratio
1 Design Sense 56: Uncommon Rewards for the Uncommon Marketer
1 Design Sense 57: Con Edison: A Troubled Giant and its Turnaround
2 Design Sense 58: Renewed Vitality for Very Large Corporations
2 Sense 59: The Vital Role of Communications in Mergers & Acquisitions
2 Sense 60: Where Are the Banks Going Today?
2 Sense 61: The Challenge to Regulated Industries
2 Sense 62: Enter Superbrand
2 Sense 63: Fulfillment: Executing a Corporate Identity Plan
2 Sense 64: American Motors
2 Sense 65: Conglomerates: Phase III
2 Sense 66: Marketing Quicksand: the 70s
2 Sense 67: Corporate Image and Those Magic Multiples
2 Sense 68: Advertising: In the Eye of the Hurricane
2 Sense 69: Lifting the Fog from Multinational Marketing
2 Sense 70: The New Shape of Financial Services
2 Sense 71: Communicating Credibility to Financial Audiences
2 Sense 72: Closing the Image Gap
2 Sense 73: Selling the Sizzle and the Steak
2 Sense 75: That Tender Age: Defense Against Tender Offers
2 Sense 76: Multi-Disciplined Marketing
2 Sense 77: Corporate Name Selection
2 Sense 78: Retail Power
2 Sense 79: Outside Directors/Corporate Identity Planning
2 Sense 80: Banking's Other Asset
2 Sense 81: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Emerging Marketplace
2 Sense 82: Why Don't People See Your Company the Way it Really Is?
2 Sense 83: Communications Productivity
2 Sense 84: Being One of One/Standing Out from the Crowd
2 Sense 85: The Corporate Name: To Change or Not to Change?
2 Sense 86: Deregulation and Diversification
2 Sense 87: Takeovers: Are They Restructuring Corporate America?
2 Sense 88: Diversify or Divest?: The Restructuring of Corporate America
2 Sense 89: The Globalization of American Industry
2 Sense 90: Corporate Identity as a Marketing Tool
2 Sense 91: What Makes a Brand's Image Valuable?
2 Sense 92: Today's Decisions, Tomorrow's Image, 1990
2 Sense 93: Employees and Image, 1992
2 Sense 94: Return on Image
2 Sense 95: Creating the Preeminent Global Brand, 1999