Michael Manoogian is one of the worlds’ biggest stars of graphic art logo design. You may have never heard of his name until now- but you can be certain that you have seen his work. Having been designing logos for over four decades, he has done work for some of the biggest stars and most renown international companies and events in the world. His work as an artist is his favorite thing to do in life, and the top aesthetic results he produces show just that. He first felt this attraction while attending Rhode Island School of Design, and has pursued it ever since.
This month, talent management firm Starpower Management proudly just signed him, and with that- his already legendary and iconic body of work shall expand even further. The world shall now begin to meet the man behind the brand, as the creator of some of the most famous logos in the world. And with that, The Hollywood Sentinel is pleased here to give you an exclusive interview with the artist himself- Mr. Michael Manoogian.
An Exclusive Interview With Michael Manoogian- Logo Designer to the Stars
Image and text here of the iconic star Janis Joplin, with logo designed by Michael Manoogian.
Hollywood Sentinel: Hello Michael, it’s great to meet you here and talk with you. For those readers just meeting you, please tell us, what exactly do you do?
Michael Manoogian: I design logos; for music, entertainment, corporate, sport, restaurants, etc.
Hollywood Sentinel: Cool. When did you get started doing this?
Michael: I fell in love with custom lettering while attending Rhode Island School of Design – graduating in 1962. I started designing lettering and logos for the music industry in Los Angeles in the 70’s. That was the beginning of of my exploding passion for designing logos.
Hollywood Sentinel: Great! Why did you start this?
Michael: It got to be more and more my interest and passion. I’d stay up long nights designing a logo until it was ‘perfect.’
Hollywood Sentinel: Wow. Who taught you?
Michael: One of my teachers at RISD is a world-class designer, Malcolm Grear. I had a lot of great teachers at RISD. They knew how to bring out of you whatever creative talent there was. I also studied a lot of other logos, what made them work, what made them fall short. That, along with my own discoveries about lettering and logos gave me quite a comprehensive working understanding of design.
Hollywood Sentinel: Who are your inspirations in the world of graphic design?
Michael: Grear is one, Herb Lubalin, Hermann Zapf, and others.
Hollywood Sentinel: What is your work philosophy?
Michael: To create a logo that is unique, has a personality, is memorable, and has a positive impact on the viewer. I want to make each logo a jewel – a hand-crafted, polished, singular gem.
Hollywood Sentinel: Great. What is your life philosophy or motto?
Michael: “If it ain’t fun, I ain’t interested.”
Hollywood Sentinel: (laughs)
Michael: Now, don’t take this as not being conscientious, burning the midnight oil working all night on a logo to get it just right, blood, sweat, and tears, and the mental gymnastics it might take are definitely ‘fun’ for me. Art is fun. Drudgery is not.
Hollywood Sentinel: I agree. Who are some of the biggest clients you have had?
Michael Manoogian: Super Bowls, The NFL, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Chick Corea, A&M Records, Warner Brothers Records, CBS Records, the Grammy Awards, Ken Kragen, We Are the World Foundation, the comedian Gallagher, and Bob Cato among more. I’ve also done loads of album logos; Lionel Richie, George Harrison, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, America, Toto, Herb Alpert, Gordon Lightfoot, Travis Tritt, and Yellowjackets among others. Really, a ton of music things.
Hollywood Sentinel: That’s a pretty amazing resume Michael. That’s quite awesome. Tell us if you will about a difficult client you have had – if any- and how you handled it?
Michael: Not one, but a few.
Hollywood Sentinel: (laughs) Oh no!
Michael: It goes like this; They hire you because they like your work and trust that you will come up with the logo they will love, and are willing to pay you good money. But, as soon as you start they are there at every turn telling ‘you’ what and how to do it. There’s no chance with this kind of client to get a word in edge-wise. They are there at every turn to tell you what to do. And so I would wonder why they hired me in the first place if they knew it all. Out of courtesy, I finish what we started. But, I tell them since this was mainly their creation they can’t tell anybody that I designed it. And after, I don’t do any more work for them.
Hollywood Sentinel: That makes sense, but fortunately as you told me earlier, these problem scenarios are a rarity, so that’s good! So, what is your advice to those who are looking to get started doing what you do?
Michael: Passion, pure and simple! It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning. With true passion for your work all else will fall into place. You’ll find outlets- clients. And work, work, work at your art. Observe, develop, work things out until they put a smile on your face and you’d be proud to sign your name to it. Work until you bleed. Bleeding is not painful if you’re doing what you love.
Hollywood Sentinel: (laughs) Metaphorically I hope! How can people learn more about you and your work?
Michael: It’s best is to view my work on my site at: www.michaelmanoogian.com
Hollywood Sentinel: Great. How can people have you consider designing for them?
Michael: They can get in touch with my manager at Starpower Management.
Hollywood Sentinel: Great, thank you Michael!
Michael Manoogian: Thank you.