This series of Famous Graphic Designers aims to look briefly at some of the most inspirational, influential and successful designers from past and present. Acting as both an opportunity to see the Masters’ work and learn a bit about their approach, this series will hopefully cover a broad range of designers from all around the world.
The first designer on my list of famous graphic designers is:
Famous For: The IBM, ABC & UPS Logos
Described by his website as the “American Modernist”, Paul Rand is best known for his work on corporate identities such as IBM, ABC and UPS. The now iconic logotypes came in what could be regarded as his third stage of design learning, where corporate identity was his focus – he started in 1937 as a book designer, progressing into Advertising around 1941, then Brand Identity in 1954. Proving himself to be a versatile designer, Rand was an advocate of the Swiss Style of design which emphasised cleanliness, readability and objectivity. Throughout his life, most (if not all) of his work followed this international typographic style, still so popular today.
IBM Logo – Designed in 1962
“To me, the 8 bar logo captured the dynamism of the company. It looked to me like it was produced from an 8 bit stream of data, perhaps from one of IBM’s products. It evoked the punched card heritage, but looked forward.”
Tim Johnson, Worked at IBM for 11 years.
ABC Logo – Designed in 1962
Enron Logo – Designed in 1996
NeXT Logo – Designed in 1986
Steve Jobs (on working with Paul Rand):
“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. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.'”
UPS logo – Designed in 1961
Paul Rand Quotes
- Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions, there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.
- Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.
- A logo doesn’t sell, it identifies. A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important than what it looks like.
Paul & Ann Rand
This is the first in a series looking into the work of Famous Graphic Designers, for more information check the link above.