Historical Art of Grosse Pointe – 50th Anniversary of the Higbie Maxon Agney logo

We hope you had a wonderful Independence Day!

This week we wanted to tell the story of a historical piece of art and celebrate its 50th anniversary – our very own distinctive Higbie Maxon Agney logo.

Originally commissioned by Mr. Higbie, the initial logo was created in 1967 by the prestigious design team of Walter Buhl Ford and Harley Earl, owners’ of Ford and Earl Associates.

Over the course of its history it has undergone several iterations to the original design in order to reflect the changes to the companies name – as depicted by the three images below.

Harley Earl was an industrial designer, and a pioneer in changing the way cars were designed in the US. As the originator of sculpted clay models as a design technique in the auto industry, he was also instrumental in creating the wraparound windshield, the hardtop sedan, factory two-tone paint, and tail fins: Source Wikipedia.

Harley Earl – Courtesy of Wikipedia

Earl was major influence in modernizing the auto industry, its culture, and is remembered as the first styling chief in the United States. In December 1999, he was ranked, by the Detroit Fee Press, as the third most significant Michigan artist of the 20th century, behind Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Source Wikipedia.

In 1945, Earl, while continuing in his role as head of GM styling, set up his own consulting firm, specializing in design, packaging and exhibits.

Walter Buhl Ford II, an influential patron of the Arts at the DIA, and the College for Creative Studies, was a descendent of Detroit’s banking Ford family. In 1943 he married Josephine Clay Ford, the granddaughter of Henry Ford. He graduated with a degree in architecture from Yale University and worked under Harley Earl at General Motors. In 1948 Ford established his own company, focusing on space planning, industrial design and interior design.

In 1964 Harley J. Earl, and Walter Buhl Ford merged their respective companies to create Ford and Earl Associates.

We are very proud of the history and heritage of our wonderful logo, and feel very honored that two such prestigious designers created such a distinctive emblem for our company that was established 88 years ago.


Written by Katie Doelle
Copyright © 2017 Higbie Maxon Agney & Katie Doelle


If you have a home, building or street you would like us to profile please contact Darby Moran – Darby@higbiemaxon.com – we will try and feature the property.

(For more historical information on Grosse Pointe, visit Grosse Pointe Historical Society).