On the Stage, Behind the Scenes and In the Audience
Alan Siegel (Siegel+Gale, Founder/Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) Over the past three decades, Alan Siegel has become one of the best-known figures in the branding business. He has achieved the stature of both pillar of the establishment and provocative iconoclast, while building a leading brand consultancy, Siegel & Gale, devoted to positioning global companies for competitive success. As consultant, author, and commentator, Alan’s influence extends to advising such organizations as Xerox, American Express, the National Basketball Association, Caterpillar, The Girl Scouts, and Carnegie Mellon University, creating guides for the Wall Street Journal on understanding financial markets, and serving on the boards of numerous business and cultural organizations. In the 1970s Alan pioneered the practice of simplification, bringing clarity to such daunting documents as insurance policies, bank loan notes, mutual fund prospectuses, and all types of government communications. During the 1980s he popularized the concept of “brand voice.” And in the 1990s his firm championed the Internet as a powerful expression of brand strategy. In all he does, Alan is known for the plain speaking he demands of clients and for the excellence in individual and organizational communications that his own firm has come to embody. Alan pioneered the development of plain English for complex legal documents for business and government in the 1970s and is considered one of the country’s leading authorities on business communications. Alan was director of a project for the Internal Revenue Service to simplify U.S. individual income tax forms; he has written extensively on this subject for The New York Times, Across the Board, and the National Law Journal and has appeared nationally on Today, The McNeil-Lehrer Report, and The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. One of the first graduates of the management training program at Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, a leading advertising agency, Alan was a senior account executive, served as secretary for the agency’s New Products Development Group, and helped establish the Communications Design Center, which handled corporate identity, packaging, and sales promotion projects. He subsequently held executive posts at Ruder & Finn, public relations consultants, and Sandgren & Murtha, marketing and design consultants. Alan served for six years as president of the Advisory Council for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. He was an adjunct associate professor of law at Fordham University Law School for seven years, where he developed an innovative legal drafting course, “Writing Contracts in Plain English.” He also served as an adjunct associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught, conducted research, and was a founder and co-director of the Communications Design Center. Alan served on the executive committee of the Document Design Project, which was funded by the National Institute of Education, a federal research agency. The National Endowment for the Arts appointed him to its Advisory Panel on Federal Graphic Design and he has served on the editorial board of The Design Management Journal since it was founded in 1989. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Alan also attended New York University Law School, the School of Visual Arts, and Alexei Brodovich’s Design Laboratory. Currently, Alan serves on the boards of the Museum of Arts and Design, the American Theater Wing, where he is a Tony voter, The Authors Guild Foundation, Inc., the Nathaniel Wharton Foundation at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Business for Diplomatic Action, and Aperture Foundation. Formerly, Alan served on the boards of the European Chamber of Commerce in the United States, the Museum of Modern Art Photography Committee, the International Center of Photography, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Design Management Institute, and Girls Inc. (formerly the Girls’ Clubs of America). Alan is the author of an extensive series of personal guides for The Wall Street Journal, including the bestseller, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Money and Markets, (Lightbulb Press) as well as Writing Contracts in Plain English (West Publishing) and Simplified Consumer Credit Forms(Warren Gorham & Lamont). He is also the author of One Man’s Eye: Photographs from the Alan Siegel Collection, which was published by Harry N. Abrams in October 2000, and Step Right This Way: The Photographs of Edward J. Kelty, published by Barnes & Noble in October 2002. In December 2006, Jorge Pinto Books published Alan Siegel on Branding and Clear Communicationsby Louis J. Slovinsky as part of its Working Biographies series.