Added : August 15, 2010

Last Updated: November 16, 2010

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TOPIC / Graphic Design

Paul Rand designs


Paul Rand designs

On August 15th, 1914, Peretz Rosenbaum was born to an Orthodox Jewish home in Brooklyn, New York.
Peretz Rosenbaum would grow up to become an icon in the field of graphic design, better known as Paul Rand.

"...Rand did not set out to reform graphic design, he just wanted to be the best at what he did. Reared in the commercial art production departments — or `bullpens' — of New York's publishing and advertising industries, he understood the demands of the marketplace and accepted that design was a service not an end, or an art, in itself. Yet he was critical of the poor aesthetic standards that prevailed, maintaining that everyday life — especially commercial art — could be enriched by the artist's touch. He modelled himself on avant-garde artists, such as painter Paul Klee, designer El Lissitzky and architect Le Corbusier, each of whom advocated a timeless spirit in design..."
excerpt from Paul Rand monograph by Steven Heller

In my small collection of Paul Rand related items, I have a book that is said to be from Paul Rand's personal library. The first edition copy of Modern Book Design by Ruari McLean (c.1951), has a personalized inscription and an extra notation in the index. The pencil notations are from Helen Federico. When I purchased the book the seller provided this note about the history:

Helen Federico worked in Weintraub & Co.'s art department (1943-1951) under Paul Rand. And the Rands (Paul and Anne) and the Federicos (Helen and Gene) dined regularly together. Helen Federico would be a major source for Steve Heller's Paul Rand monograph. Gene Federico worked for Doyle Dane Bernbach (1951-54) and he went on to create a substantial body of work and received many graphic design honors.

Here is a book jacket design and a couple of paperback cover designs by Paul Rand.

In 1941 Paul Rand designed the logo for the Coronet brand. I'm not sure of the date for the below giant brandy snifter featuring Paul Rand's design and illustrative character logo.

more links about Paul Rand:
Paul Rand's Book Jackets and Covers / SVA MFA Designer as Author video
Identity Presentation for American Express design /
Paul Rand's Final Logo? / Speak Up
1972 Hall of Fame: Paul Rand / Art Directors Club
History of Modern Design: Graphics and Products since the Industrial Revolution / Google Books
Portraits of Paul Rand /
Remembering Paul Rand / Design Observer
Paul Rand modern graphic design fan club / flickr
Video of Steven Heller & Paul Rand interview / youtube
Paul Rand / RIT Graphic Design Archive
Paul Rand in Pink / Inspiration Resource
Paul Rand, Anti-War, Pro-Typographer / A Journey Round My Skull
Paul Rand Obituary from 1996 / The New York Times
Objectify Me: Steven Heller on Paul Rand's can / Objectified
Paul Rand's Children's Books / Daddy Types
Sparkle and Spin by Ann and Paul Rand / Chronicle Books
Paul Rand book covers / Scott Lindberg on flickr
The Trademark as an Illustrative Device /
Paul Rand: Conversations with Students / Google Books
Steve Jobs on Paul Rand's NeXT logo video / youtube
Papa Logo / Metropolis
Designer Paul Rand Speaks at Media Lab / MIT
Paul Rand timeline (1914-1996) /


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