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Paul Rand Paperback – August 29, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (August 29, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714839949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714839943
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Review

'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)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matt G. on September 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Paul Rand was a giant among designers, and one of the key reasons that graphic design exists as a profession in the United States. Heller, obviously a great Rand fan and friend(not to mention a prolific author), has given his subject his due, tracing Rand's evolution as an artist and the arc of his career. From a 1942 Autocar annual report whose design is astonishingly current to some work for Dubonnet that perhaps hasn't stood the test of time as well, Heller's choices of accompanying materials is excellent, illustrating as well as telling Rand's core philosophies: Effective graphic design is straightforward, purposed, and well-reasoned. This is a straightforward, well-assembled book that falls short in two very minor ways: While much is made of Rand's European influences, none of this work appears in the book, and select examples rather than just mention of Rand's contemporaries would have done a better job of placing his work in a more historical context.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
a book to keep for designers. heavy with ideas and great graphics. having known paul rand and being inspired by him the book also presented some graphics i have not seen as it was before my time. a book to refer to about design in general. solid text and research. miho
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I just received my book today and have not been able to put it down. Beautifully written and lavishly illustrated, Paul Rand by Steven Heller pays true homage to a man who was blessed with true talent, wit and intelligence. An amazing talent, and a fascinating book. A must-have for any serious design student or professional.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R.M. Fernandez on November 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pretty thorough book on a graphic design icon. Unfortunately, the book is typeset very poorly in an 8pt serif font. Reading more than a few pages at a time strains your eyes and results in a headache - ironic considering Rand was a firm believer in usable design.

Lots of full color samples of Rand's work to coincide with the text, which is nice.

Overall, this book is a great resource. It's too bad the type is so difficult to read.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book a while ago and it was sitting on my shelf for months - but once I finally opened it I couldn't put it down. It's written in a simple and informative manner that gives me a taste of not only Paul but the times that he lived in, his professional contemporaries and parallel design trends.
I read this book with an iPad right next to me constantly Googeling artists and books that the writer is mentioning. It's is more of a journey into an era than just story or biography - and as a designer I feel inspired. My creative juices are flowing and fresh ideas filling my minds eye.
The format of the book is great, and the paper quality is superb.
I had to take one star off because some of the images are tiny for no apparent reason.
But other then this it's a highly recommended book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is about one of the best graphic designers of all times and it's complete. A very beautiful book. Great buy!
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