Design Blog – Paul Rand

One of most influential and inspirational 20th-centuryAmerican graphic designers is Paul Rand, who is mostly known for his logo designs made for major American corporations such as IBM, UPS, and American Broadcasting Company. Born in New York City, he studied art and design in various prestigious universities, and from 1936 until 1941 he served as the art editor for the famed Esquire magazine. He also taught graphic design at Pratt Institute, Yale University, and other academies.

Rand’s artistic ambition is to merge visual art with the written word. He implemented his theoretical musings into his poster designs, viewing writing and art as two mutually dependent mediums that should work together to form a cohesive representation of the environment and audience for which the design is meant. He wrote at length about the interdependence of arts and the written form, stressing the idea that graphic designers should think rationally and follow a specific process.

“The designer does not, as a rule, begin with some preconceived idea. Rather the idea is … the result of careful study and observation, and the design is the product of that idea. In order, therefore, to achieve an effective solution to the problem the designer must necessarily go through some sort of mental process. Consciously or not, he analyzes, interprets, formulates. He is aware of the scientific and technological developments in his own and kindred fields.”

Even if Rand’s logos may appear somewhat simplistic and overly simplified, he believed that to make a brand accessible to the American public, the designs “do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting,” as he put it.

To this day, Rand remains a trailblazer for designers and artists. For example, his collaboration with Steve Jobs produced the corporate identity for NeXT Computer, and many label Rand as “the greatest living graphic designer”.

Dan Alexander Paul rand design
design Paul rand
Sign up to our newsletter

The photos and images presented on this website are protected by copyright. They may not be published without the consent of Dan Alexander & Co.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.