IBM, UPS, ABC. If these acronyms ring a bell, their ubiquitous logos springing instantly to mind, then you know the work of Paul Rand (1914-1996), the Picasso of Graphic Design. A pioneer in the field of visual communication, Rand developed a fresh and individual design language drawn from European art movements including Russian constructivism, de Stijl, and the Bauhaus. His career as an art director, teacher, writer, and design consultant to major corporations spanned almost seven decades. Rand arguably got his start at the tender of 3 when he first began to secretly copy pictures of the attractive Palmolive models pictured in advertising displays in his father's grocery store in Brooklyn, New York. He later modeled his aesthetic on avant-garde artists like Paul Klee, El Lissitzky, and architect Le Corbusier, each of whom advocated a timeless spirit in design. Rand began his career in an era when working by hand was a given, a reality that would change before his eyes as the mass media, entertainment, and consumer industries were revolutionized by increasingly technical equipment, and ultimately the computer.
Steven Heller, senior art director at The New York Times and prominent author of numerous design books, presents this meticulously researched and detailed survey, which marks the first complete retrospective of Rand's powerful body of work, exploring the full range of his advertising, publishing, and corporate identity projects. Eminent designer Armin Hofmann writes the forward, and the introduction is penned by advertising legend George Lois, who writes, "The constant concern of the scholarly and humanistic Paul Rand was to create images that snared people's eyes, penetrated their minds, warmed their hearts and made them act." Appropriately, the designers of this large, bold, beautifully designed book seem well versed in Randism themselves, creating a gorgeous tribute to this quintessential artist's artist. Rand's uncanny ability to inject wit and whimsy into the corporate vocabulary is echoed here, for example, in an enlarged reproduction of an opened children's book whose spine is aligned with that of the actual book held by the reader, creating a playful trompe l'oeil effect. At 255 pages, with a staggering 452 illustrations (over 300 in color), this book is a delightful and inspiring must-have. --A.C. Smith
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'New York Times art director Steven Heller has teamed up with Phaidon to publish the first comprehensive survey of Rand's work - a hefty volume of 250 copiously illustrated, large-format pages. ... Heller skilfully weaves Europe's influence on Rand into the book ... Only history will reveal if any graphic designer can bestride the 21st century as Rand did the 20th. If you don't already have his books, this would make a valuable addition to any designer's library.' Design Week 'Steven Heller's authoritative and highly detailed biography of one of the true pioneering giants of 20th century design, is the first book of Rand's work that does not actually bear the authorship of Rand himself. ... Reichart's elegant display of Rand's formidable work is given centre-stage. ... Chronicled with immense thoroughness and through his long-standing friendship with Rand, Heller has also drawn a vivid and engaging picture of Rand's character and intellect, so inextricably linked to his individualistic approach to design. ... this book is an outstanding tribute, in both literary and visual terms, to a truly inspirational man. ... Alan Fletcher described Rand as the 'first guru of design' - fitting homage to an exceptional designer, author and eminent educator - and this is a book which every graphic design student should be made to study.' Chartered Society of Designers Journal 'Steven Heller and the other contributors do not disappoint: the depth of the research and the quality of the analysis have resulted in a comprehensive examination of Rand's career, personality and philosophies.' Creative Review ' ... It's a pleasure and a joy to see all this work together in one place. We're all used to seeing reproductions of various Rand designs, but nothing short of a comprehensive exhibition has shown as much of his work all at once as this book does. The reproduction is splendid: the colour work is very good ... The design of the book is very much in the Rand style, but, more important, it displays his work expansively, dynamically, and clearly. The most obvious thing about the work, when you see all together like this, is how good it makes you feel. ... Quite simply, it's a good book. ... Heller's prose is fluid and his thinking is assured ... Paul Rand's life is not just a series of brilliant tableaux, it's an argument. This book puts the argument in context. For that, it belongs on your shelf right next to Rand's own books.' John D Berry, U & l c 'This large-format book gives as coherent and complete a picture of Rand's work as a visual communicator as Rand would want us to have. Steven Heller's narrative is largely Rand's narrative: information gathered through interviews with Rand followed up by interviews with supportive colleagues from the advertising, publishing and corporate design phases of his career. The visual material is excellent and beautifully reproduced.' EYE ' ... careful selection of brilliant visual imagery ... In wisely selecting a thoughtful designer to compose Paul Rand, Heller has been handed a beautifully designed and printed book. Jessica Helfand's effective entry, Paul Rand: The Modern Professor, written after Rand's death, is an acute, perceptive, subtle and layered portrait ... ... a valuable book for anyone with an interest in design and culture.' Baseline ' ... In the Anglo-American tradition of biographies as portraits of a life and work, the author weaves observation on the history of design together with biographical anectdotes thus creating at times an almost novelistic depiction of Rand's often hot-tempered personality. These associations make the book entertaining ... By outlining the career and work of one of the really greatest design personalities, this book can also be considered a history of graphic design in this century. The fact that it contains an extensive collection of works from all his creative periods and fields is in itself grounds for considering this book a standard work on Paul Rand.' Form (Germany)