21 Apr 2016
Not that we look up to them for each and every logo we get to work out, but there are some legendary designers who, even after decades of their passing away, inspire budding designers and experts alike in their work.
“I haven’t changed my mind about modernism from the first day I ever did it…. It means integrity; it means honesty; it means the absence of sentimentality and the absence of nostalgia; it means simplicity; it means clarity. That’s what modernism means to me…”
There is absolutely no one in this creative field who hasn't heard about Paul Rand and the 'Apple' story. Rand was an American art director and graphic designer and mastered design for advertising, magazines, and books. His book covers and magazine designs are still considered inspirational, but he made his biggest mark in the area of corporate identity. He is the visionary who showed us that design matters – a lot.
In 1972, IBM introduced a new version of their logotype. Designed by Paul Rand, horizontal stripes now replaced the solid letters to suggest "speed and dynamism." In over four decades since then, the basic design has remained constant - one of the most recognized logotypes in the world, and a design that has been widely imitated by others.
IBM is still one of his most famous logos — a project that began as collaboration with architects Eliot Noyes in 1956 and unfolded over more than 20 years. Rand knew the conservative company needed to be guided through a design progression. His first step was to tweak IBM’s existing slab serif typeface, but it wasn’t until 1972 that he incorporated the still-familiar horizontal stripes to better unify the three letters. In addition to the logo, he designed IBM’s packaging, marketing materials, and annual reports. Rand was responsible for some of corporate America’s most recognizable logos including Westinghouse, ABC, and United Parcel Service.
“Pictures, abstract symbols, materials, and colors are among the ingredients with which a designer or engineer works. To design is to discover relationships and to make arrangements and rearrangements among these ingredients.”
When asked Steve Jobs about his working with Paul Rand, he commented: “I asked him if he would come up with a few options, and he said, ‘No, I will solve your problem for you. And you will pay me.’”
Watch the video of the interview with Steve Jobs about working with Paul Rand