Iconic Design Icon Bob Gill, the One That Gave Us the ‘Starbucks Blue’ Key [Photos]

Bob Gill, whose graphic design work led to modern day icons including the Starbucks blue bar and the Apple monosyllabic emoji, has died. He was 90.

Gill, whose old name was Gerhard Gerhard, created the “Message” for IBM, an emblem with a white circle and a black square punctuated by an “i” that changed when printed on paper or held with an index finger. The blue dot was to indicate the note’s subject.

The IBM “Message” was created in 1945 and was rolled out across the world in 1946 with an IBM “Crewel Letter.”

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The functional but now iconic design added a sharp contrast to the IBM design arsenal in the 1950s and was used as a corporate logo until the 1980s.

Gill also worked on other corporate icons like the Coca-Cola red can, Post’s black and white color palette and the milk and coffee cartons. He was also responsible for retro logos for the Budweiser and 7-Eleven chains.

RIP Bob Gill. Some of my favorites. pic.twitter.com/SWmouuX8BE — Robert Graham (@_rhoy) January 7, 2019

Chris Mitchell is the face of IBM. Here’s a piece of him he said the night before his death. https://t.co/Ayj8Ox8sqq — Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2019

Huge respect to designer Bob Gill for creating famous logos for iconic brands including Bell phone and IBM, and Ralph Lauren, especially those super stylized spots. His legacy and influence on design continues to enrich our culture, especially in advertising. A gentle giant. https://t.co/5uFScDZ2Uz — Mark Zuckerberg (@MarkZuckerberg) January 7, 2019

Very sad to hear the news about Bob Gill. Rest In Peace my friend. Our beautiful names are a reminder to honor the life of loved ones who have gone. pic.twitter.com/H8Ds0pKBYo — Hal David (@HalDavidMusic) January 7, 2019

So sad to hear of the passing of wonderful artist Bob Gill. In recognition of his work I’ve added his office to my gallery in NYC. As a bit of advice, our shop has the same wonderful serif fonts that you’d find at the presidential libraries. pic.twitter.com/MTtJR1YG3m — Steven Schragis (@Steven_Schragis) January 7, 2019

Thanks to the vision of Bob Gill, @IBM embraced its blue logo. https://t.co/pvhBQW5FzP pic.twitter.com/SylvjFmWZ8 — Domestastic (@Dcelebrantheatre) January 7, 2019

RIP beautiful Bob Gill. pic.twitter.com/ALVHKwC2Bc — we made moleskin (@_WeMade_moleskin) January 7, 2019

Rest in peace Bob Gill, the engineer who brought humanity its Starbucks blue boxes, simple and optimistic. A sweet scene we’ve created. pic.twitter.com/5o42Yc7iKl — Tomas Garcia (@Therealshole) January 7, 2019

Gill, who lived in New York, died on Friday, The New York Times reported.

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