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  • 1. Paul Rand…just be good Influences and Philosophy: In his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, Bruce Mau states “23. Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.” Paul Rand certainly lived by those words as is clear in his designs as influenced by the Swiss Style and Bauhaus designers Adolphe Mouron Cassandre and László Moholy-Nagy, respectively (1a). Below: Examples of Cassandre, Swiss Style (a.k.a. International Typographic Style) of design described as “emphasizing cleanliness, readability and objectivity” and Moholy-Nagy and Bauhaus design described as having “a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography” (2): Rand studied at the Pratt Institute, the Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League and is considered one of the foremost American graphic designers. Despite his education in design, it has been said that Rand was largely self-taught as a designer (1). Moholy-Nagy said of Rand, “Among these young Americans it seems to be that Paul Rand is one of the best and most capable [. . .] He is a painter, lecturer, industrial designer, [and] advertising artist who draws his knowledge and creativeness from the resources of this country. He is an idealist and a realist, using the language of the poet and business man. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems but his fantasy is boundless” (1b). Rand's design philosophy is largely based on that of the pragmatic aesthetic philosopher John Dewey, whose book Art as Experience examines the physical ‘work of art’ as a means of communing with the observer and ultimately society. Dewey stated, “[The aesthetic experience is the] ultimate judgment upon the quality of a civilization” (3).
  • 2. Raid said of Art as Experience, “. . . deals with everything—there is no subject he does not deal with. That is why it will take you one hundred years to read this book. Even today’s philosophers talk about it[.] [E]very time you open this book you find good things. I mean the philosophers say this, not just me. You read this, then when you open this up next year, that you read something new.” We can see this philosophy at work in Rand’s own art (1c): Top left to right: Direction Magazine cover 1940, UCLA poster 1990, Direction Magazine cover 1939, Modern Art USA Book cover art, Minute Man poster for National Park Service Bottom left to right: Yale Graduate School student guide, Listen! Listen! book cover art, Quality, Apple poster Think Different Early Career: Rand got his start in the design industry as a page designer for magazines. Rand’s innovative style utilized several techniques including typography, painting, collage, photography, and montage. His typography style is said to be a combination of modern typography with nineteenth-century engravings (4). At the age of 23, he took over as art director for the Esquire-Coronet magazines. His cover art for Direction magazine specifically is considered to be where he honed his signature look. The 1940 cover is cited as evidence of Rand’s artistic freedom while at Direction as his blending of high arts and graphic design to further his goal of combining his admiration of European modernist design and his professional work (1).
  • 3. Corporate Identity: Rand is most often cited for his corporate logo designs that are indicative of his style on a more commercial level. Designer Louis Danziger said of Rand, “He almost singlehandedly convinced business that design was an effective tool. [. . .] Anyone designing in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to Rand, who largely made it possible for us to work. He more than anyone else made the profession reputable. We went from being commercial artists to being graphic designers largely on his merits” (1b). Rand’s corporate logo designs are considered the standard that all corporate logos are held to. It’s noted that Rand’s 1956 IBM logo is considered his defining corporate identity explains Mark Favermann, “was not just an identity but a basic design philosophy that permeated corporate
  • 4. consciousness and public awareness” (1d). Rand’s design philosophy with logos was simplicity as stated, “[a logo]cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.” On his collaboration with Steve Jobs for the for the NeXT Computer, Jobs stated that Rand was “the greatest living graphic designer” (1a). The fact that many of his logos that were designed decades ago are still in use, speaks volumes of his logo designs. Rand’s skill in blending simple imagery and typography served him well in his logo designs. Rand describes what a logo is and does with the following (5): • A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon. • A logo doesn't sell (directly), it identifies. • A logo is rarely a description of a business. • A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. • A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important that what it looks like. Rand describes an effective logo as: • distinctiveness • visibility • useability • memorability • universality • durability • timelessness Rand summed up his design philosophy stating, “Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions, there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated" (6). For more information on Paul Rand: Paul-Rand.com: Extensive historical timeline from paul-rand.com. Paul Rand – Corporate Identity Designs, Innovation and Excellence Tribute to a Legend - Paul Rand – The Graphic Designer of All Time 1972 HALL OF FAME: Paul Rand The Organization > Creative Hall of Fame > Paul Rand American Icon: Paul Rand
  • 5. Sources: (1) Wikipedia.org. “Paul Rand”, accessed January 2008, available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_rand (1a) Bierut, Michael. “Tribute: Paul Rand 1914–1996.” ID, Jan–Feb. 1997: 34 (1b) Heller, Steven. “Thoughts on Rand.” Print, May–June 1997: 106–109+ (1c) Kroeger, Michael. Interview with Paul Rand. MK Graphic Design. 8 Feb. 1995. 15 Feb. 2006 http://www.mkgraphic.com/paulrand.html (1d) Favermann, Mark. “Two Twentieth-Century Icons.” Art New England Apr–May 1997: 15. (2) Wikipedia.org. “Swiss Style” and “Bauhaus”, accessed January 2008, available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Style and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus (3) Wikipedia.org. Art as Experience, accessed January 2008, available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_as_Experience, ibid. p. 326 (4) logoblog.org. “Paul Rand – Corporate Identity Designs, Innovation and Excellence”, accessed January 2008, available from http://www.logoblog.org/wordpress/paul-rand/ (5) Paul Rand. “Logos, Flags, and Escutcheons”, accessed January 2008, available from http://www.hqlogos.com/logo-design-infobase-item.asp?id=102 (6) John Maeda. “Thoughts on Paul Rand”, accessed January 2008, available from http://acg.media.mit.edu/events/rand/ideamag.html This wiki compiled by: Jennifer Graham and Monique C. Marcil for JOMC712 Discussion: Why do you think the style of Paul Rand was/is so widely accepted? What differences are there with Paul Rand's style compared to other designers of his time? What differences are there compared to modern day design?