Explore the Life’s Work of Paul Rand, America’s Pioneer in Graphic & Commercial Design
- Ashleigh Kim
Talk to anyone leading a business today, from burgeoning start-ups to multinational corporations, and they’ll tell you how vital a company logo is in business identity. Between the ’20s and ’60s, when the fast food craze launched with the attention-grabbing red and yellow themes to incite our appetites, research behind color and typeface in logos was still quite new. And we have Paul Rand to thank for a significant progression in our understanding of branding and trademark.
Art director, graphic designer, commercial artist, Yale professor and lecturer; Paul Rand can be described under various roles, but that should not detract from the American artist’s impact on the world of industrial design. Born in 1914, Rand, along with Rudolph de Harak, is credited as one of the first American designers to popularize the International Typographic Style of graphic design, also known as the Swiss Style. He’s solely responsible for creating the original logo designs for mega corporations like IBM, ABC, UPS, and Enron (er, as large as companies go, let’s ignore that last one). Having been lucky enough to have met success in his twenties, with a climbing reputation as the years went by, Rand, born Peretz Rosenbaum, had New York City injected into his blood from his Brooklyn roots to Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute education.
Immensely captivated by his work, author and Paul Rand superfan JP Williams wrote an extensive photographic essay titled A Designer’s Eye: Paul Rand as the heart and blood of the late artist’s life works. Published by WMS & CO. and supplemented by 76 photographs by Grant Peterson, the 108-page book is limited to 1,000 numbered editions and is now selling for $125 USD.