Notes on William Golden

I’ve got this strange soft spot for mid-century broadcast design, in particular the work done for CBS. William Golden was one of the big names at the time, moving from radio to television as creative director for America’s Most Watched Network. Some notes jotted down from Revolution of the Eye and other places:

Favored humanist and socially conscious representational imagery. Supported abstraction (see: his CBS eye logo design) but criticized it. He found it “self indulgent to the point of saying nothing and saying it with considerable facility.”

He believed good design was less about self expression and the approval of other designers, and more about inspiring interest in the network and it’s programming (CBS).

A graphic designer is employed for a certain sum of money, by someone who wants to say something in print to somebody. The man with something to say comes to the designer in the belief that the designer with his special skills will say it more effectively for him.

Art Chantry writes about the relationship between him and his partner, designer Cipe Pineles…

William Golden’s wife, Cipe Pineles, was already independently well established as major design mind and practitioner. However, when Golden was voted the gold lifetime achievement award medal by the New York Art Directors Club, he refused membership or the award unless his wife was also given the award. He fought. No woman had ever been given that award. In fact, no woman had ever been MEMBER! It just wasn’t done. But, he fought and they relented and Cipe Pineles was allowed to be the first (and for a long time ONLY) woman in the Art Directtors club. Eventually, they awarded her the Gold Lifetime Grand Master Medal as well.

More reading here.

Golden’s monograph is freely available here.