Mark Fox

Graphic Designer / United States / Design is Play; California College of the Arts

Mark Fox is a designer and educator. He specializes in the design of trademarks, icon systems, and custom typography at Design is Play where he collaborates with Angie Wang. (Prior to his work with Wang, Fox designed under the nom de guerre BlackDog for more than twenty years.) Fox and Wang are co-authors of Symbols: A Handbook for Seeing, published by The Monacelli Press in 2016.

Known for creating arresting images with unusual concision, Fox has been described by Aaron Betsky, former Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as “a master at the specialized task of designing logos and symbols.” Betsky states further, “His designs have the impact of early twentieth-century propaganda, the aura of medieval myth, and the thought-provoking quality of a work of critical art.” Writing in Graphis, Ken Coupland notes Fox’s “talent for compressing the maximum amount of message into the minimum amount of acreage.”

Fox has designed trademarks and iconography for a range of companies, among them Autodesk, Bianchi USA, California College of the Arts (CCA), Credo Mobile, Elektra Records, Eveready Battery Co., Major League Soccer, Nike, Oracle, PowerBar, Random House, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, TV Land (Nickelodeon), University of California Press, Warner Bros. Records, and Wired.

Fox’s work has been recognized nationally and internationally in the design publications Affiche (Netherlands), B.A.T. (France), Blueprint (England), Communication Arts (United States), Critique (United States), Graphis (Switzerland), and Novum (Germany). His posters are included in collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; the Poster Museum at Wilanów, Warsaw; the United States Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). His work has also been acquired by the Letterform Archive in San Francisco and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) in Los Angeles.

A one-man show of his political posters—“BlackDogma: Selections from the Work of Mark Fox in the Permanent Collection of Architecture + Design”—was exhibited at SFMOMA in 1999.

In addition to co-authoring Symbols, Fox has written articles for Communication Arts, Critique, and 3X3, and he authored the introduction to The New American Logo, published by Madison Square Press in 1994. His analysis of corporate trademark design, “Logos=God,” was featured in Communication Arts in 1999.

He was president of the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) from 1995 to 1996, and served on the board of the Architecture + Design Forum of SFMOMA from 1998 to 2000. In 2004, Fox was designated a Fellow of the San Francisco AIGA for personal and professional contributions to the San Francisco design community.

Fox is a Professor of Graphic Design at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco where he has taught since 1993. He served as Chair of Graphic Design at CCA on two occasions, from 2003 to 2007, and most recently from 2013 to 2014.

Contributed Articles

Daily Features
By Mark Fox March 19, 2014

Logo designer Mark Fox reflects on digital and analog culture through the lens of two selections from his book list.

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