Designed Symbols for AT&T;, ABC Stations : Dean Smith; Corporate Logo Creator


G. Dean Smith, creator of such well-known corporate logos as the AT&T; globe and ABC’s symbolic “Circle 7” for its stations in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles and chief designer of the U.S. Postal Service’s science and industry stamp in 1983, has died at his Laurel Canyon home.

Smith was 54 and died March 13 when he suffered either a heart attack or stroke, it was learned this week.

He studied at Pratt Institute in New York and the Art Center School in Los Angeles before opening a graphic design firm in San Francisco in 1959. It was for San Francisco’s ABC outlet, KGO-TV, that he designed in 1962 the first of the trademark symbols that were to make him known nationally.


He was credited with adding degrees of subtlety to corporate and industrial insignias, replacing firm names or initials with simple symbols more suggestive of the sophisticated complexities that make up today’s conglomerates.

Among his more than 100 other clients were Yosemite National Park, Boise Cascade Corp., J. Paul Getty Museum and General Foods. He was also known for the advanced typographical and photographic techniques employed in his books and brochures.

He is survived by his wife, Roberta, six children and a brother, Graham.

Contributions can be made to G. Dean Smith Memorial Fund at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena 91103 or the Yosemite Assn., Yosemite 95389.