Images via Herman Miller
Modern design extraordinaires Herman Miller and Knoll have unveiled their new name after plans for an acquisition by the former in a US$1.8 billion stock and cash deal were announced in April. Under MillerKnoll—a combination of both of their names—the industry giants will oversee 19 leading brands with a presence of over 100 countries, 64 showrooms, and more than 50 physical retail spaces.
With the momentous deal, the power pair hopes to cement their roles in 20th-century contemporary design and help “remake modern for the 21st century” by merging their forces in architecture and interior design.
Meanwhile, Herman Miller and Knoll will remain as two distinct brands under the MillerKnoll umbrella. The company will be led by Herman Miller president Andi Owen and a management team consisting of Herman Miller and Knoll executives.
“We are a group of people and brands guided by a shared vision, common values, and a steadfast commitment to design,” describes Owen. “Together, we can be truly inclusive, design for everyone, and care for our planet. With a broader portfolio, scaled global footprint, and advanced digital capabilities, we will be poised to meet our customers everywhere they live and work.”
According to Fast Company, the namesake Herman Miller had purchased more than half the equity of a company called Star Furniture in 1923, and later turned it into The Herman Miller Furniture Company. He was a businessman, not a designer, and had his name propelled into the core of the design sphere thanks in large to commissions from prominent designers, like Charles and Ray Eames.
Meanwhile, Hans Knoll, whose family was in furniture design, founded the Knoll brand in 1938. He married designer and architect Florence Schust in 1946, and together, they renamed the firm Knoll Associates.
The MillerKnoll logomark appears to borrow from Knoll’s sans-serif look. “Pure and geometric, the new identity evolves our shared graphic heritage into a contemporary, yet timeless mark,” the company explains in an Instagram story. “Modernism remade for the 21st century.”
Image via Herman Miller
[via Fast Company, images via various sources]