Paul Randâ€™s distinctive style was a result of his talent and extensive design education. It inspired his success at the merger of modern typography with nineteenth-century engravings. Rand strove to unite letters, finding unique graphic ways of bringing together letters of a word (name or title of a person or entity). And he excelled at that, as seen in his logos for IBM, EF and Yale University Press.
Typography was one of his strongest command areas, and with his impeccable understanding of both visual content (image/illustration) and technical content (typography/typeface), he produced designs which lasted decades. Balance, uniformity and equilibrium of spacing were the three common elements of Paul Randâ€™s typography related work.
Simplicity was a common element of everything and anything Paul Rand created, whether it was a page design, a magazine cover, an ad, or a logo. And everyone loved it. He was always of the opinion that the design of a logo must be simple, in order to appeal aesthetically.
In the 1940s, Paul Rand broke away from the conventional standards of typography and layout, and started incorporating Swiss style of design into his creations. He merged American visual culture into European avant-garde (modern art) design, integrating Cubism, Constructivism, the Bauhaus and De Stijl into his work.
Poster for the New York Subways Advertising Company, designed by Paul Rand in 1947.
Poster for the UCLA, designed by Paul Rand in 1996, one of the last creations before his death.
CORPORATE IDENTITY DESIGNS:
The most important achievement on Paul Randâ€™s portfolio is in the area of Corporate Identity Design and logotypes. His talent and excellent execution was apparent in the logos he designed for many firms from a broad range of industries like IBM, Apple, UPS, ABC Television, NeXT, Enron, the Cummins Engine Company, El Producto Cigar Company, Compton Advertising and Westinghouse Electric Corporation and many more.
ABC Designed 1962
“Should a logo be self-explanatory? It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. It derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes. If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.”
“A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.”
“I do not use humour consciously, I just go that way naturally. A well known example is my identity for United Parcels Service: to take an escutcheon – a medieval symbol which inevitably seems pompous today – and then stick a package on top of it, that is funny.”