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Encyclopedia > Paul Rand
Paul Rand

Paul Rand on a Think Different poster in his later years
Born August 15, 1914(1914-08-15)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died November 26, 1996 (aged 82)
Occupation Graphic designer

Paul Rand (born Peretz Rosenbaum, August 15, 1914November 26, 1996) was a well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs. Rand was educated at the Pratt Institute (1929–1932), and the Art Students League (1933–1934). He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design. From 1956 to 1969, and beginning again in 1974, Rand taught design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Rand was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972. He designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS and ABC. Rand died of cancer in 1996. Image File history File links Paul-Rand. ... Several different Think Different posters. ... is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the borough of New York City. ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section should include material from logo design, discuss it at Talk:Logo design A logotype, commonly known as a logo, is the graphic element of a trademark or brand, which is set in a special typeface/font, or arranged in a particular, but legible, way. ... Pratt Institute is a specialized, private college in New York City with campuses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. ... The Art Students League of New York is an art school founded in 1875. ... Akzidenz Grotesk designed in 1896 for the H. Berthold AG type foundry. ... “Yale” redirects here. ... “New Haven” redirects here. ... The Art Directors Club is a professional association of advertising art directors and graphic designers. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... United Parcel Service, Inc. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ...

Contents

Early life and education

Peretz Rosenbaum was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1914.[1] As Orthodox Jewish law forbids the creation of graven images that can be worshiped as idols, Rand's career creating icons venerated in the temple of global capitalism seemed as unlikely as any. It was one that he embraced at a very young age, painting signs for his father’s grocery store as well as for school events at P.S. 109.[2] Rand’s father did not believe art could provide his son with a sufficient livelihood, and so he required Paul to attend Manhattan’s Harren High School while taking night classes at the Pratt Institute, Rand was by-and-large “self-taught as a designer, learning about the works of Cassandre and Moholy-Nagy from European magazines such as [Gebrauchsgraphik].”[3] This article is about the borough of New York City. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Orthodox Judaism is the formulation of Judaism that adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonised in the Talmudic texts (Oral Torah) and as subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and Acharonim. ... Pratt Institute is a specialized, private college in New York City with campuses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. ... The poster Normandie (1935) is Cassandres most famous design Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (January 24, 1901 – June 19, 1968) was an influential Ukrainian-French painter, commercial poster artist, and typeface designer. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Early career

Figure A: Direction, December 1940 cover.
Figure A: Direction, December 1940 cover.

His career began with humble assignments, starting with a part-time position creating stock images for a syndicate that supplied graphics to various newspapers and magazines.[2] Between his class assignments and his work, Rand was able to amass a fairly large portfolio, largely influenced by the German advertising style Sachplakat (ornamental poster) as well as the works of Gustav Jensen. It was at around this time that he decided to camouflage (and abbreviate) the overtly Jewish identity telegraphed by ‘Peretz Rosenbaum,’ shortening his forename to ‘Paul’ and taking ‘Rand’ from an uncle to form his new surname. Morris Wyszogrod, a friend and associate of Rand, noted that “he figured that ‘Paul Rand,’ four letters here, four letters there, would create a nice symbol. So he became Paul Rand."[1] Roy R. Behrens notes the importance of this new title: “Rand’s new persona, which served as the brand name for his many accomplishments, was the first corporate identity he created, and it may also eventually prove to be the most enduring."[1] Indeed, Rand was rapidly moving into the forefront of his profession. In his early twenties he was producing work that began to garner international acclaim, notably his designs on the covers of Direction magazine, which Rand produced for no fee in exchange for full artistic freedom.[2] Among the accolades Rand received were those of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (600x780, 72 KB) This image is of a magazine cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the magazine or the individual contributors who worked on the cover depicted. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (600x780, 72 KB) This image is of a magazine cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the magazine or the individual contributors who worked on the cover depicted. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... László Moholy-Nagy (probably July 28, 1895 – November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. ...

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.[2]

The reputation Rand so rapidly amassed in his prodigious twenties never dissipated; rather, it only managed to increase through the years as the designer’s influential works and writings firmly established him as the éminence grise of his profession.[3]


Although Rand was most famous for the corporate logos he created in the 1950s and 1960s, his early work in page design was the initial source of his reputation. In 1936, Rand was given the job of setting the page layout for an Apparel Arts magazine anniversary issue.[2] “His remarkable talent for transforming mundane photographs into dynamic compositions, which [. . .] gave editorial weight to the page” earned Rand a full-time job, as well as an offer to take over as art director for the Esquire-Coronet magazines. Initially, Rand refused this offer, claiming that he was not yet at the level the job required, but a year later he decided to go ahead with it, taking over responsibility for Esquire’s fashion pages at the young age of twenty-three. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... August 2005 issue of Esquire Esquire is a mens magazine by the Hearst Corporation. ... Coronet on November 1936 Coronet was published from November 1936 to October 1961 and ran for 299 issues. ...


The cover art for Direction magazine proved to be an important step in the development of the “Paul Rand look” that was not as yet fully developed.[2] The December 1940 cover (See Figure A), which uses barbed wire to present the magazine as both a war-torn gift and a crucifix, is indicative of the artistic freedom Rand enjoyed at Direction; in Thoughts on Design Rand notes that it “is significant that the crucifix, aside from its religious implications, is a demonstration of pure plastic form as well . . . a perfect union of the aggressive vertical (male) and the passive horizontal (female)."[4] In ways such as this, Rand was experimenting with the introduction of themes normally found in the “high arts” into his new graphic design, further advancing his life-long goal of bridging the gap between his profession and that of Europe’s modernist masters. A selection of forms of barbed wire. ... Artistic Freedom is the right (or privilege, when working with anothers work) to create art without restrictions regarding content or style. ...


Corporate identities

Figure B: Eye Bee M poster designed by Rand in 1981 for IBM.
Figure B: Eye Bee M poster designed by Rand in 1981 for IBM.

Indisputably, Rand’s most widely known contribution to graphic design are his corporate identities, many of which are still in use. IBM, ABC, Cummins Engine, Westinghouse, and UPS, among many others, owe their graphical heritage to him, though UPS recently carried out a controversial update to the classic Rand design.[3] One of his primary strengths, as Moholy-Nagy pointed out, was his ability as a salesman to explain the needs his identities would address for the corporation. According to graphic designer Louis Danziger: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (435x647, 14 KB) Description: Paul Rand Eye-Bee-M logo for IBM, 1981. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (435x647, 14 KB) Description: Paul Rand Eye-Bee-M logo for IBM, 1981. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... It has been suggested that Corporate Visual Identity Management be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... Cummins Inc. ... This article is about the defunct Westinghouse Electric Corporation founded in 1886, renamed CBS Corporation in 1997, and purchased by Viacom in 1999. ... United Parcel Service, Inc. ...

Figure C: Unimplemented logo designed by Rand for Ford Motor Company.
Figure C: Unimplemented logo designed by Rand for Ford Motor Company.
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.[2]

Rand’s defining corporate identity was his IBM logo in 1956, which as Mark Favermann notes “was not just an identity but a basic design philosophy that permeated corporate consciousness and public awareness."[5] The logo was modified by Rand in 1960, and the striped logo in 1972. Rand also designed packaging and marketing materials for IBM from the early 1970s until the early 1980s, including the well known Eye-Bee-M poster (See Figure B). Ford appointed Rand in the 1960s to redesign their corporate logo, but afterwards chose not to use his modernized design (See Figure C). Image File history File links Rand_ford. ... Image File history File links Rand_ford. ... “Ford” redirects here. ... Ford may mean a number of things: A ford is a river crossing. ...


Although his logos may be interpreted as simplistic, Rand was quick to point out in A Designer’s Art that “ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting."[4] His American Broadcasting Company trademark, created in 1962, epitomizes that ideal of minimalism while proving Rand’s point that a logo “cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.”[4] Rand remained vital as he aged, continuing to produce important corporate identities into the eighties and nineties with a rumored $100,000 price per single solution.[3] The most notable of his later works was his collaboration with Steve Jobs for the NeXT Computer corporate identity; Rand’s simplistic black box breaks the company name into two lines, producing a visual harmony that endeared the logogram to Jobs. If ever there was a pleased client, it was indeed Steve Jobs: just prior to Rand’s death in 1996, his former client labeled him, simply, “the greatest living graphic designer.”[1] Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is the co-founder and CEO of Apple and was the CEO of Pixar until its acquisition by Disney. ... For other meanings, see Next. ...


Influences and other works

Development of theory

Figure D: Paul Rand Miscellany cover for Design Quarterly.
Figure D: Paul Rand Miscellany cover for Design Quarterly.

Though Rand was a recluse in his creative process, doing the vast majority of the design load despite having a large staff at varying points in his career, he was very interested in producing books of theory to illuminate his philosophies. Moholy-Nagy may have incited Rand’s zeal for knowledge when he asked his colleague if he read art criticism at their first meeting. Rand said no, prompting Moholy-Nagy to reply “Pity.”[2] Heller elaborates on this meeting's impact, noting that, “from that moment on, Rand devoured books by the leading philosophers on art, including Roger Fry, Alfred North Whitehead, and John Dewey." These theoreticians would have a lasting impression on Rand’s work; in a 1995 interview with Michael Kroeger discussing, among other topics, the importance of Dewey’s Art as Experience, Rand elaborates on Dewey’s appeal: Image File history File linksMetadata Paul_rand_miscellany. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Paul_rand_miscellany. ... River with Poplars, circa 1912, Tate Gallery. ... Alfred North Whitehead, OM (February 15, 1861 Ramsgate, Kent, England – December 30, 1947 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) was an English-born mathematician who became a philosopher. ... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ...

[. . . 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.[6]

As is obvious, Dewey is an important source for Rand’s underlying sentiment in graphic design; on page one of Rand’s groundbreaking Thoughts on Design, the author begins drawing lines from Dewey’s philosophy to the need for “functional-aesthetic perfection” in modern art. Among the ideas Rand pushed in Thoughts on Design was the practice of creating graphic works capable of retaining their recognizable quality even after being blurred or mutilated (see Figure D), a test Rand routinely performed on his corporate identities.[4]


Criticism

Despite the prestige graphic designers place on his first book, subsequent works, notably From Lascaux to Brooklyn (1996), earned Rand accusations of being “reactionary and hostile to new ideas about design.”[2] Steven Heller defends Rand’s later ideas, calling the designer “an enemy of mediocrity, a radical modernist” while Favermann considers the period one of “a reactionary, angry old man.”[2][7] Regardless of this dispute, Rand’s contribution to modern graphic design theory in total is widely considered intrinsic to the profession’s development. Steven Heller (195? - ) American art director and journalist. ...


Modernist influences

Undoubtedly, the core ideology that drove Rand’s career, and hence his lasting influence, was the modernist philosophy he so revered. He celebrated the works of artists from Paul Cézanne to Jan Tschichold, and constantly attempted to draw the connections between their creative output and significant applications in graphic design. In A Designer’s Art Rand clearly demonstrates his appreciation for the underlying connections: “Cezanne” redirects here. ... Titlepage for Typographische Gestaltung written and designed by Jan Tschichold using City Medium and Bodoni. ...

From Impressionism to Pop Art, the commonplace and even the comic strip have become ingredients for the artist’s caldron. What Cézanne did with apples, Picasso with guitars, Léger with machines, Schwitters with rubbish, and Duchamp with urinals makes it clear that revelation does not depend upon grandiose concepts. The problem of the artist is to defamiliarize the ordinary.[8]

This idea of “defamiliarizing the ordinary” (or "making the familiar strange," a strategy commonly credited to Russian Formalist critic Viktor Shklovsky) played an important part in Rand’s design choices. Working with manufacturers provided him the challenge of utilizing his corporate identities to create “lively and original” packaging for mundane items, such as light bulbs for Westinghouse. Viktor Borisovich Shklovsky (or Shklovskii) (January 24, 1893–December 6, 1984) was a Russian and Soviet critic, writer, and pamphleteer. ... This article is about the defunct Westinghouse Electric Corporation founded in 1886, renamed CBS Corporation in 1997, and purchased by Viacom in 1999. ...


References

  1. ^ a b c d Behrens, Roy R. “Paul Rand.” Print, Sept–Oct. 1999: 68+
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Heller, Steven. “Thoughts on Rand.” Print, May–June 1997: 106–109+
  3. ^ a b c d Bierut, Michael. “Tribute: Paul Rand 1914–1996.” ID, Jan–Feb. 1997: 34
  4. ^ a b c d Rand, Paul. Thoughts on Design. New York: Wittenborn: 1947.
  5. ^ Favermann, Mark. “Two Twentieth-Century Icons.” Art New England Apr–May 1997: 15.
  6. ^ Kroeger, Michael. Interview with Paul Rand. MK Graphic Design. 8 Feb. 1995. 15 Feb. 2006 <http://www.mkgraphic.com/paulrand.html>
  7. ^ Favermann, Mark. “Two Twentieth-Century Icons.” Art New England Apr–May 1997: 15
  8. ^ Rand, Paul. Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985

Steven Heller, (b. ... Michael Bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. ...

External links

Persondata
NAME Rand, Paul
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Rosenbaum, Peretz
SHORT DESCRIPTION Graphic designer
DATE OF BIRTH August 15, 1914
PLACE OF BIRTH Brooklyn, New York, United States
DATE OF DEATH November 26, 1996
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Paul Rand - definition of Paul Rand in Encyclopedia (131 words)
Paul Rand (born Peretz Rosenbaum, August 15, 1914 - November 26, 1996) was a well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs.
Rand's education included the Pratt Institute (1929-1932), the Parsons School of Design (1932-1933), and the Art Students League (1933-1934).
He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style.
NodeWorks - Encyclopedia: Paul Rand (112 words)
Discussion on the replacement of Rand's UPS logo.
Rochester Institute of Technology Design's biography page of Paul Rand
Web section devoted Paul Rand's visit to the MIT Media Laboratory in 1996
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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