One of the most iconic graphic designer ever, Paul Rand is the author of some of the most creative logotypes, like IBM logos. He designed any type of graphics, from Fonts to magazine covers, for which he was awarded many times. He elevated brands and corporate identities to a new level.
Paul Rand was born in New York in 1914 and died in Norwalkn in 1996.
At young age he started composing flyers and ad panels for his father’s shop and he worked for magazines, little shops and school events.
He studied at Pratt Institute and Parsons without graduating, that’s why he always defined himself as an autodidact; he changed his name in Paul Rand, projecting it as a personal brand, symmetric and stronger than his real name, Peretz Rosenbaum.
He projected covers for the magazines Esquire-Coronet, Apparel Arts and most of all, Direction, using the technique of collage and photo editing, for that has been established internationally.
He had also a bold taste for typography and he created some types, like the font Westinghouse.
He is mostly known for his works on corporate identities; one of the most famous project was the logo for IBM, projected as a rebus, for which he collaborated with Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, and the ones for ABC TV channel, UPS, Westinghouse and for Steven Jobs NeXT.
Paul Rand was a professor at Yale University between 1956 and 1992, where he wrote “Thoughts on Design” in 1970, his main theoretical work.
He left a contribution even in architecture, projecting with his wife in the early 50’s the Rand House, made with stone and glass according to the surrounding nature.
There, he also drew the graphics for a series of book for children.
Paul Rand received lots of awards for his career, like Royal Designer for Industry in 1953 and the admission in the Hall of Fame of the Art Directors of New York in 1972.
His works are collected in some of the most influent museums of the world, like the Smithsonian and MoMA of New York.
Paul Rand has been the most important interpreter of Swiss graphics, a linear and abstracted style, but his work was also inspired by De Stijl, Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus and some artist like Paul Klee, Alexander Calder and Joan Miró for their use of sign and symbolism.