Alan Siegel is one of the best-known figures in branding and a driving force behind the plain English movement in the U.S. and abroad. In 2011 Alan created Siegelvision, a new company committed to a different approach to branding. Drawing on small teams of experienced, handpicked talent, Siegelvision develops simple, powerful brand strategies for clients seeking to step boldly to the next level.
Over the past five decades, Alan Siegel has gained the stature of both pillar of the establishment and provocative iconoclast while building a leading brand consultancy, Siegel+Gale, where he serves as Chairman Emeritus. As consultant, author and teacher, Alan’s influence extends to advising such organizations as Xerox, American Express, the National Basketball Association, Caterpillar, 3M, U.S. Air Force, Dell, The Girl Scouts, Phoenix House, the Legal Aid Society, Carnegie Mellon University and the New School; creating best-selling guides for The Wall Street Journal on understanding financial markets, and serving on the boards of numerous business, cultural and professional organizations.
In all he does, Alan is known for the plain speaking he helps clients achieve and for the excellence in individual and organizational communications that his own firm embodies.
He pioneered the development of plain English for complex legal documents for business and government in the 1970s. During the 1980s Alan popularized the concept “brand voice,” and in the 1990s his firm championed the Internet as a powerful expression of brand strategy and essential component of the brand experience.
Alan is considered one of the leading authorities on business communications, bringing clarity to insurance policies, bank loan notes, mutual fund prospectuses and government communications. Alan was the director of a project for the Internal Revenue Service to simplify U.S. individual income tax forms.
Alan has written extensively on branding and simplicity for The New York Times, Across the Board, and the National Law Journal and has appeared nationally on “Today,” “The McNeil-Lehrer Report,” and CBS and ABC News, CNN and the TED Conference.
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 Legal Aid Society, the American Theater Wing, where he is a Tony voter, Hamptons International Film Festival and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Formerly, Alan served on the boards of the European Chamber of Commerce, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Aperture Foundation, 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, the Nathaniel Wharton Foundation at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Business for Diplomatic Action, the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, Turnaround For Children, the Authors Guild Foundation, Inc., Lapham’s Quarterly, and Girls Inc. (formerly the Girls’ Clubs of America).
Alan is the author of a 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, published by Harry N. Abrams in 2000, and Step Right This Way: The Photographs of Edward J. Kelty, published by Barnes & Noble in 2002. Alan’s latest book, Simple (Hachette), which he co-wrote with long-time colleague, Irene Etzkorn was released in April of 2013 to critical acclaim. In addition, Alan is a featured columnist for The Huffington Post.
In 2006 Jorge Pinto Books published Alan Siegel: On Branding and Clear Communications by Louis J. Slovinsky as part of its Working Biographies series.