Siegel + Gale

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Industry Brand Consulting
Founded 1969
Headquarters New York City, USA
Los Angeles, USA
San Francisco, USA
London, United Kingdom
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Shanghai, China
Beijing, China
Key people
Alan Siegel
Chairman emeritus
David Srere
Chief Strategy Officer

Howard Belk
Chief Creative Officer

Jason Cieslak
President, Pacific Rim
Philip Davis
President, EMEA
Warren Wang
Managing Director, China
Margaret Molloy

Global Chief Marketing Officer and Global Head of Business Development
Franco Xu
General Manager, Shanghai
Services Research, Brand development, Simplification, Digital, Activation,
Number of employees
Parent Omnicom Group

Siegel+Gale is a branding firm founded in 1969 by Alan Siegel and Robert Gale. David Srere and Howard Belk act as Co-CEOs. Siegel+Gale is a part of Omnicom Group (NYSE-OMC).[1] The firm is headquartered in New York City with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai.[2] It serves a wide range of corporate, non-profit, and government clients. Its corporate tagline is “Simple is Smart.”

Background and ownership[edit]

Siegel+Gale was founded in 1969 by Alan Siegel, an advertising, public relations and design-trained executive, and Robert Gale, a designer. The company was first operated out of Siegel’s apartment in New York City. Gale sold his share of the firm in 1974. In 1988, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Saatchi & Saatchi, the global brand advertising and marketing firm. After 10 years, Siegel+Gale organized an employee buy-back of the firm in association with a venture capital firm and Fleet Bank (now owned by Bank of America, Inc.). In 2003, the firm was acquired by the large marketing and communications company, Omnicom Group Inc.[3]

The Work[edit]

Siegel+Gale began with the development of brand identities for clients like Uniroyal (revamping the company’s corporate identity and launching marketing and communications projects in Europe and South America), the National Basketball Association (designing the logo featuring the silhouette of NBA legend Jerry West) and Pitney Bowes (image and messaging revamp).[4] In 1980, Siegel+Gale went on to work with the Interbank Card Association to form a new global identity for Master Charge, that included changing the company's name to MasterCard.[5]


Siegel+Gale has conducted its business with an ethos of simplicity. For example, in the 1970s, Siegel+Gale began translating complex legal, government and business documents into Plain English.[6]

Siegel+Gale’s relationship with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began when in 1978 Congress told the IRS to simplify tax forms. In 1979, the project was awarded to Siegel+Gale.[7] The current 1040 EZ form, originally the Short Form, grew out of this work,[8] and the results included reduced error rates, shorter completion time, and more positive taxpayer attitudes.[9] IRS and Siegel+Gale later came together to simplify the proliferation of correspondences with the taxpayer. They held stakeholder interviews and developed a design based on test practices, which was approved by IRS Senior Leadership in 2009.[10] The IRS Notice Improvement Project received the 2011 Grand Prize of the 2011 ClearMark Awards.[11]

Corporate/Brand Voice[edit]

Digital Voice[edit]

In the 1990s, Siegel+Gale began to apply its simplification and clarity strategy to online communications. It launched and created online identity strategies for a range of clients, including Ernst & Young (Ernie), Kodak Professional and the College Board.[12]

Research Studies[edit]

Since 2009, Siegel+Gale has published an annual study entitled the “Global Brand Simplicity Index"[13] (GBSI) which is a research-based survey focused on quantifying brand value and identifying the companies which provide "simple brand experiences" for their customers make simplicity a cornerstone of their business model. The 2013 GBSI surveyed more than 10,000 consumers in 7 countries "to evaluate perceived points of simplicity-or complexity-in their interactions with various brands and industries.” The 2013 study looked at the profile of 500 global brands across 25 industries, using the responses to score and rank them based on a Brand Simplicity Score and Industry Simplicity Score on a scale of 0-1000, based "on their contribution to making life simpler/more complex, the pain of interactions with companies within the industry and how the industry’s communications rank in terms of ease of understanding, transparency/honesty, concern for customers, innovation/freshness and usefulness.” According to the 2014 study, brands that offer simpler customer experiences stand to gain a share of $50 billion.

In May 2014, Siegel+Gale also released the study,[14] a report which aimed to measure the business impact of taking a consumer-centric approach to B2B branding. The study, based on a survey of 9,500 consumers and 450 business decision-makers, ranks 64 B2B brands based on how familiar they are to consumers. The report also shows how leading B2B brands are increasingly building consumer relevance, even if their offering is not traditionally consumer-focused.

Client Roster and Recognition[edit]

Siegel+Gale has created branding programs for 3M, AARP, Allstate, American Express, Bayer, Boise, Caterpillar, China Youth Development Foundation, Comcast, Curvature,[15] Czech Airlines, Dell, Disney, Dolce (satellite television), Dow, EmblemHealth,[16] Eurotel, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Girl Scouts, if(we),[17] KAUST, Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Motorola, National Basketball Association, Norsk Hydro, Pfizer, Prudential Financial, Saudi Aramco, Sony, Tata Consultancy Services, The New School, Xerox, and Yahoo!,[18] among others.

Not-for-profit clients include Girl Scouts of the USA.,[19] Phoenix House,[20] Legal Aid Society,[21] University of the Arts [22][23] Americas Second Harvest (now Feeding America),, The New School, The Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, Florida State University, KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science & Technology), and The Museum of Arts & Design.

The firm has also received many awards for the work it has done for its clients. Some of these recognitions include: REBRAND 100, Best of Awards for ICFJ;[24] 365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions 30, Award for Outstanding Design, Branding Brochure for EmblemHealth;[25] Web Marketing Association's WebAward For Outstanding Achievement in Web Development, Best Associations Website for Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library; Communicate magazine Transform 2010 Awards Best corporate rebrand for a spin-off or new company-Gold and Best rebrand from a not-for-profit organisation-Gold for the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation;[26] and a Pro Bono Publico Award in recognition of the pro bono work in the rebranding of The Legal Aid Society.[27]

Siegel+Gale Day[edit]

On Saturday, October 17, 2009 friends, alumni, clients, and employees gathered at The New York Public Library's Astor Hall to celebrate 40 years of 'Simple is smart'. At the event, Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, presented an official proclamation by Mayor Michael Bloomberg marking Friday, October 16, 2009 as "Siegel+Gale Day in the City of New York." The honor was accepted by Siegel+Gale founder and Chairman Alan Siegel, accompanied by Siegel+Gale Co-CEOs David Srere and Howard Belk.[28]


  1. ^ Dinger, Ed, "International Directory of Company Histories: Siegel+Gale,"
  2. ^ Contact Us,
  3. ^ Elliott, Stuart (2012-10-24). "Ex-Chairman of Siegel & Gale Starts New Company". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-21. 
  4. ^ Mortimer, Ruth, "The frank Yank, who shoots from the hip," Brand Strategy, August 2001, p. 3.
  5. ^ "Campaigns," ADWEEK magazine, p.26 January 14, 1980
  6. ^ Siegel, Alan, "To lift the curse of legalese - simplify, simplify," Across the Board, June 1977, p. 64.
  7. ^ "Design: Simplifying Income Tax Returns". 
  8. ^ "Wherein the Party of the First Part, Expert Alan Siegel, Wants to Ban Contract Legalese". 
  9. ^ Plain Language Principles and Practice, Wayne State University Press, 1991, edited by Erwin R. Steinberg, p. 224
  10. ^ "Making A Noticeable Difference". 
  11. ^ "2011 ClearMarkAward Winners". 
  12. ^ Bernstein, Roberta, "Brand Man" ADWEEK, November 27, 2000, p. 14.
  13. ^ Siegel+Gale: Media Release: Siegel+Gale Releases its fourth annual Global Brand Simplicity Index
  14. ^ Ad Age: B2B Brands Matter: B2BNow Study
  15. ^ "Siegel+Gale Partners with Curvature to Launch New Name and Brand Identity". CNBC. July 24, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ Hilary Greenbaum. "Who Made Those Emblem Health Commercials?". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ Gasca, Peter October 30, 2014 Entrepreneur. "Get Over the Business-Naming Hump With These 5 Strategies"
  18. ^ Client List,
  19. ^ Judge, Paul C., "How will your company adapt," Fast Company, December 2001
  20. ^ "Siegel+Gale Designs New Brand/Visual Identity for Phoenix House". 
  21. ^ "The Legal Aid Society Honors Siegel+Gale CEO Alan Siegel for Rebranding the Society". 
  22. ^ "Alumnus-Led Firm Designs Bold and Engaging New Website for University of the Arts". September 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Siegel+Gale Designs Bold and Engaging New Website for University of the Arts". September 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ [1] REBRAND 100
  25. ^ [2] 365/30 selections 2009
  26. ^ [3] Transform 2010 Awards
  27. ^ [4] The Legal Aid Society Honors Siegel+Gale's Alan Siegel
  28. ^ [5] Fox Business Online