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Paul Rand: Conversations with Students Paperback – April 1, 2008
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About the Author
Michael Kroeger is a professional graphic designer and an assistant professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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A side note: This was published shortly after his death, and was not written BY Paul Rand, but is an extremely important resource anyway, containing much of what he said.
If it was a DVD it would be the equivalent of a collection of out takes, the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor, which gets added onto DVD's as a an extra feature. It felt like a piece of vanity publishing by Michael Kroeger rather than something directly from the heart and mind of Paul Rand.
No wonder there is so much mystique around Paul Rand, he is impossible to make sense of. The constant reference back to art theory and criticism is old fashioned and irrelevant to a modern day designer.
And he is simply wrong about the use of computers. Yes, its easy for people to pull something together on a computer that looks kind of slick without being good design, but this 'problem' is far out shadowed by the brilliant creative output it has enabled for designers worldwide. And its capacity to inspire and research source materials, understand user behaviours and so on has raised design to new levels.
The nostalgic in me wanted this to be great, and a couple of his comments are very interesting and insightful, but I think Rand's legacy is best left to the body of work he has produced.
The centerpiece of the book is a couple of Q&A's with Rand on the topic of how to teach graphic design. They present a glimpse of his contentious personality and a few of his ideas.
There are a few brief essays at the end of the book by former students of his, which add a touch of first person reminiscence about the man.
Finally there is a useful list of recommended reading about design, typography and art. It is unclear which books were recommended by Rand in his classes and which were separately compiled by the editor, Michael Kroege, the list seems to contain both.
Well, i think I got what I paid for -- I never stopped thinking the book was pretty. Kroege makes the most of a couple of brief interviews, illuminating points with graphic examples.