I think pretty much every graphic designer has someone they have looked to for inspiration through the years. Mine is an artist by the name of Gerard Huerta. Huerta began as a designer with CBS records in 1974 and left in 1976 to form Gerard Huerta Design, Inc.
You've seen his logo design everywhere. Here's one I know you've seen (heck you probably drew it on your school book cover!). His masthead design reads as a who's who of magazines: People, Time, Money, Us.
Huerta works digitally now, but his lettering hand skills are what really blow me away. I used to letter by hand and I know how difficult it was for me to do and I am a barbarian compared to Huerta.
Herb Lubalin wrote in Print Magazine's Typography issue "Gerard Huerta, whose work is a throwback to the intricate, complicated and colorful style of the early 20th century cigar-box labels, never ceases to amaze me with the beauty of his design and technical proficiency."
Take a look at Huerta's website when you have time and meet a designer who has had a huge influence in logo design over the last 30-plus years.