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Jessica Helfand

Remembering Paul Rand


rand.jpg

My graduate thesis at Yale was a long, dissertation-style treatise on the history of the square. Only one member of the graduate faculty actually took the time to read it — and that was Paul Rand.

"With what little time I've had to read Jessica's thesis, I have to conclude that the quality of the content deserves commendation," he wrote in my written review. "But it looks like you designed it in three days," he told me later. "It looks," he said, staring straight at me to make sure I got the message, "like a piece of crap."

Naturally, he was right: about the designing it in three days part, anyway. (Crap, I would later learn, is in the eye of the beholder.) But by then, I'd come to expect these sort of no-nonsense pronouncements from my thesis advisor. "The development of new typefaces is a barometer of the stupidity of our profession!" "Graphic design is not surgery!" Rand was irascible, unforgiving and impossible. Exalted standards of excellence were a point of pride with him. He loved form, hated market research, and fervently believed in the power of good design. He didn't suffer fools — or anyone for that matter — gladly.

Periodically, I would visit him at his home in Weston, Connecticut, where we would sit at his kitchen table and talk. As we talked, he would think of books he wanted me to read, and he would go and fetch them, often sending me home with duplicate copies of his favorites — many of them on architecture, philosophy, art, even Judaica. I was the only Jewish girl in our class, and when he wasn't playing the tough guy in the studio at school, he treated my like a granddaughter, even down to administering just the right dose of guilt. "You disappeared like a phantom!" he wrote me in a letter when I'd failed to visit him for a month or two. Like both of my grandfathers, Rand was at once paternal and taciturn, deeply principled and given to great, gusty bouts of laughter at the slightest provocation. I'd bring him chocolates. He'd make me tea. We'd sit for hours and argue. I loved every minute of it.

I don't remember talking about design so much as just talking — about life, about ideas, about reading. "You will learn most things by looking," he would say, "but reading gives understanding. Reading will make you free." Once, he complained about the inadequacy of a text he wanted to assign the students, faulting his then-current translation of Le Corbusier and Ozenfant's essay, "On The Plastic In Art" from 1922. He knew I'd been raised in France and asked me to provide a better translation for him, which I did. And he knew enough French to know mine was, at least for his purposes, the better version: not because I was a better translator, but because by that time, under his tutelage, I'd become a more observant student of design. And it was this, more than anything, that I learned from him: how to really look — deeply, ruthlessly, penetratingly — and see.

Years later, after I was married, I happened to be in Philadelphia with my husband when Mr. Rand was in town to give a lecture. Now frail and in his early 80s, we arranged to pick him up and deliver him back to his hotel at the end of the evening. As we helped him out of the taxi, he stopped, put his arm around me — we were the same exact height — and gave me a squeeze. Then he turned sternly to Bill. "You know, I'm not at all sure you're good enough for her," he barked. "But you'll do."

I felt so relieved and grateful that he chose, in what would be our last conversation, to critique my husband — and not my thesis.


This essay is taken from Michael Kroeger's book, Paul Rand: Conversations with Students, which will be published on January 3 by Princeton Architectural Press and is reprinted here with kind permission from the publisher.


Posted in: Design History, Graphic Design, Reputations

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Comments [49]
Beautiful.

"I don't remember talking about design so much as just talking — about life, about ideas, about reading."

I think that these things are what make us better; talking and learning, not just about design but about life.

Thank you for sharing this.
diane zerr
01.03.08
11:43

He has efficient handwriting. He hardly turns back, always forward looping, minimal stop and retrace steps. Though, most of us get that way as we age. The Ps are the give away.

that being said, it's taken me five years, but I am slowly learning to like the Cummins logo, if not manage a little grin, every time I see it since it has turned red.
Nancy
01.03.08
12:07

Jessica, hope you have that letter hermetically sealed and in a nice frame. Wow!!! Talk about "taking things seriously." Double wow!!!!!!

VR/
Joe Moran
01.03.08
01:56

Thanks for sharing this essay with us. Truly a wonderful story!
Ethan Bodnar
01.03.08
03:46

Interesting. Rand as mob boss in the design mafia.
rich b.
01.03.08
04:36

"... reading gives understanding. Reading will make you free."

Beautifully said. Reading gives you the words to describe and possess what you learn to see through looking.

Thank you for sharing this.
John Luke
01.03.08
04:37

Unfortunately, when i hear the name Paul Rand, i immediately remember this blog entry: Link
Peter
01.03.08
05:53

I have tremendous respect for Paul Rand's accomplishments, but not for his utter contempt for everything around him.

In 1992, Paul Rand came to speak with students enrolled in the RISD Graphic Design program. My classmates and I were very excited - we had an opportunity to glean a bit of insight from a design legend. Gathered in an intimate little classroom, Mr. Rand began:

"For those of you still considering a career in graphic design, I advise you to get out now - while you still can."

He then asked if any of us were familiar with any of the following artists and designers (and proceeded to read aloud a long list of obscure names). When the class responded "no," Mr. Rand told us we should be ashamed of ourselves.

As a soon-to-be designer, I was a bit offended. Rather than offer encouragement or advice, he chose to berate the class and insult the faculty for not properly educating us. For me, his angry and bitter criticisms left something to be desired.
Ryan Paul
01.03.08
08:11

Paul Rand is no Hermann Zapf.
Kevin Sweeney
01.03.08
10:59

Paul Rand is no Hermann Zapf.

True. Paul Rand is a legend.
Christian
01.04.08
12:25

* sigh
Lana Daher
01.04.08
04:33

Ryan Paul's comments are so reminiscent of my memories of Paul and his generation of practioners and teachers during that period ( 60's, 70's, 80's) of design history. During the many years my office was in Westport, I lived in Weston, a sort of enclave for artists of all disciplines, many of whom one was always bumping into at the solitary coffee shop in Weston Center, and Chez Pierre in Westport when something stronger was called for (...and when was it not).

I was fortunate to count many of these luminaries among my friends, even if only passing; some of whom I worked for as an architect, and none of whom felt the slightest reserve to criticize in the harshest terms my inexperienced practice. But always there was the dependable accuracy, honesty, even the well disguised affection in their comments, which one came to understand as a style (not unlike Jessica's grandfathers). I must have amused them universally, like a tail wagging puppy at the end of the table, appreciating the all too rare moments when they would acknowledge my presence.

Many years later I read Ryan's comment, and hope that one day, that style will reveal itself for what it was, and he will appreciate a generation whose love and excitement for "the work" was everything, and they suffered poorly those for whom that same work was only one aspect of an otherwise balanced life. I think of those days as having the fervor of revolution, where only the most dedicated survived. One had to prove the sacrifices made to belong to the club, and the resultant personalities, so common among them, stern, dismissive, impatient...well, perhaps you had to be there.

Longtooth
Longtooth
01.04.08
10:42

what this article made me realized:

I have read that the weakest of Paul Rand's famous logos was the Cummins logo, or perhaps the least liked. Having been in CT for a couple days, reading the comments and people here, and knowing cummins hometown flavor a bit, I see how difficult it must have been to design something different when fusing the Weston mentality with those from the engine headquarters downtown.
Nancy
01.04.08
12:10

There are so many Paul Rand anecdotes out in the world. Many see to come from chance encounters (e.g. "I once met Rand after a lecture he gave and he..."). These inevitably seem to end with some perceived insult suffered at the hands of the cantankerous master. Even stories from those who knew and worked with Rand often seem paint him with broad strokes of irascibility and arrogance. This is the stuff of legend. Though I never met Paul Rand, I've been hearing these stories since the beginning of my education. The collective result is an enduring impression of Rand as cranky old ogre. Brilliant, yes, but still an ogre.

It is very refreshing to read a kind, thoughtful commentary about the man by someone who really knew him. You've managed to humanize him in a very lovely way, Jessica. Makes me wish I had known him.
Rob Henning
01.04.08
12:53

I love his simple, understated, letterhead design.
leslie
01.04.08
01:23

wow, this also makes me wonder if they put a dunkin donuts/baskin robbins logo medium size outside of zarakovs with the retro reality in its full glory on the inside... with a lemonade style pickup curbside...well, what would happen.

(Ok, sorry that was too much localized info.)

PS: I also think they should put signs like "be careful of troll under bridge" on the welcome sign in town and be careful trolls over the bridge on the entrance to the otherside of town. Of course, with the obligatory :) But this may disturb the design integrity.
Nancy (moreofme)
01.04.08
02:24

Ryan Paul,

You'd be surprised how many young designers don't know the name Paul Rand...

History is one of our most valuable learning resources -- I think Mr. Rand was constantly disappointed at the lack of interest most students show in their own profession's past.
Addison Hall
01.04.08
03:57

Ryan Paul - I am, like you, critical of Paul Rand, but fort different reasons. Your statement and anecdote do not really prove that he had some kind of real, pre-established contempt for students.

"For those of you still considering a career in graphic design, I advise you to get out now - while you still can."

This, to me, seems like a good advice.

"He then asked if any of us were familiar with any of the following artists and designers (and proceeded to read aloud a long list of obscure names). When the class responded "no," Mr. Rand told us we should be ashamed of ourselves."

What where these names and indeed, why did neither of you know them, and more to the point: why didn't you go and find out about them if Paul Rand meant so much to you?
Daniel van der Velden
01.04.08
06:52

Dear Jessica Helfand:
What ever happened to your investigation of the square?

To live together in the world means essentially that a world of things is between those who have it in common, as a table is located between those who sit around it; the world, like every in-between, relates and separates men at the same time. (Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 48)

The town center or square is the sine qua non of a self-governing community, embodied with vitality and a common life.
(H.R. Shapiro, Citizen's for Local Democracy, 1968)

The square is not a subconscious form. It is the creation of intuitive reason.
It is the face of the new art.
The square is a living, royal infant.
It is the first step of pure creation in art. Before it, there were naïve deformities and copies of nature.(Malevich)

Paul Zelevansky



Paul Zelevansky
01.04.08
08:31

When I was Rand's student, and I told him that I wanted to write about him for my thesis, he would throw out the same challenges to me that Ryan Paul describes above. I kept a list of somewhat obscure German designers of the 1920s that Rand insisted I should write about (instead of him): O.H. Hadank, Karl Schulpig, etc.; since I was curious to see anything that Rand had admired, I dug around for it. Based on what little I found, I could see that the designers he cited were pretty interesting, but my lack of German (not to mention access to German archives) was an obstacle. When I pointed that out to Rand, he then argued that it was El Lissitzky I should write about: but in 1982 there was actually more information available about El Lissitzky than there was about Rand and his colleagues in the 40s and 50s, which was what I really interested in, to Rand's chagrin. At that time I only experienced Rand as a complete pain in the neck, but I did feel he had a point: someone should write about those Germans. (I think there was a small book written a few years later by Leslie Cabarga on German logos of the 1920s that included work by some of the guys on Rand's list, but it's just a beginning). Unlike Jessica, I never experienced the nicer side of Rand's personality, but I understood that he was enormously learned about the development of graphic design in the twentieth century, and he was an eternal student (which perhaps was why he kept teaching, because he didn't seem to like students per se, but it gave him an excuse to keep studying in one way or another). But now I think that at least some of the crankiness of his personality was due to his exasperation with the generally low level of discourse that characterizes graphic design, the lack of true curiosity about its history, and the simplistic nature of so much design chat. And, ironically, the most current example of that is the defaultish, uncritical adoration that so many profess to have for the "legendary" Mr. Rand. And it's 25 years later, and hundreds of logo books later, and still no one has done a deeper study on O.H. Hadank (just to pick one instance where Rand irritatingly had it right).
Lorraine Wild
01.05.08
02:47

Absolutely beautiful essay, explaining how a man of such legendary gruff critiques could understand the human spirit so well. Inspiring, I'm re-reading my Phaidon book right now.
Kevin Chan
01.05.08
03:46

Rand's list of obscurities was indeed a challenge to become more informed about those formgivers who provided the building blocks of modern practice.

As Lorraine notes, Hadank was a brilliant logoist and arguably (along with Peter Behrens) a forerunner of all that exists today. He designed a few typefaces, many stamps, labels galore, and taught, among others, Walter Herdeg, founder of Graphis. He's mentioned in Jeremy Aynsley's "Graphic Design in Germany 1890-1945" and I wrote a article on him in Baseline #47 (http://baselinemagazine.com/), but even this is not as detailed as should be. Even in German, some but not a lot was written about him, though he was one of the most respected designers and teachers in between the wars Germany.

steve heller
01.05.08
09:57

Daniel;

"For those of you still considering a career in graphic design, I advise you to get out now - while you still can."

This, to me, seems like a good advice.

- Why?
Paul
01.05.08
10:46

Daniel;

"For those of you still considering a career in graphic design, I advise you to get out now - while you still can."

This, to me, seems like a good advice.

- Why?
Paul
01.05.08
10:46

I only met Rand once. I helped organize a talk with students in Los Angeles but to his credit he refused to have it become the full AIGA evening we wanted. He clearly cared about students and didn't want any of the design star bull. That evening provided one of my favorite quotes. Rand made several anti computer comments and a student asked if graphic design was worse because of the computer. He replied "No. It's always been lousy."

My other encounter with him resulted in my personal note from him. When his "Form and Chaos" essay appeared in the AIGA Journal, I wrote and long rebuttal. I had many problems with the essay, not the least of which was that I thought the style of the argument was dishonest. Steve Heller said my reply read like a book report and he wanted a brief "letter to the editor" reply. Looking back at it, Steve was right about my writing but I still believe it warranted more than a hundred words or so. (I still don't understand why his writing is accepted as uncritically as it is.)

Since the AIGA Journal wasn't going to publish it, I mailed it to Paul Rand. I received a note in return that said "Dear Mr. Swanson, Thank you for your letter." I didn't know whether it was a knee jerk courtesy, a dismissal, or what. Ken Hiebert later told me that if Rand hadn't read what I wrote and thought about it, he wouldn't have bothered acknowledging it.

Gunnar Swanson
01.05.08
10:55

The only time I met Paul Rand, I asked for a copy of the book he had done to introduce the Next logo. "You seem like a nice enough young man," he said, and sent me one. I still have it.

Years later I saw Rand speak at an AGI congress, and he was terse, dismissive, contemptuous and infuriating, particularly about the current state of graphic design. I was sitting next to another well-known designer in the audience who leaned in and whispered, "If I ever get like that, please kill me." "Me too," I said.

This was over fifteen years ago; whenever I find myself getting exasperated, I remember that whispered exchange and vow to find some causes for inspiration, not irritation, in the work I see around me. And I always do. Thank you, Paul Rand.

For the curious, here's a little more on my Paul Rand problem.
Michael Bierut
01.05.08
01:10

"What where these names and indeed, why did neither of you know them?"

Daniel - Obviously, Mr. Rand felt like we had "neglected" our duties as students and lovers of all things design.

But let's be honest. Students at RISD (or other leading design institutions) might assume their school was teaching them the "important" stuff. Furthermore, how can you seriously expect a student to be aware of gaps in design history if it's not a part of the curriculum? In 1992, we used Philip Meggs' "A History of Graphic Design." If we were assigned other supplemental texts, of course we would have studied them.

I am fully aware that Mr. Rand's comments were influenced by his disgust with the state of our profession. And yes, he was honest. I certainly don't think visiting designers should sugar-coat the stories they tell to their students.

But he could have been honest it in a constructive manner. No need to dump all over people, especially 20-year-olds who are eager to learn.
Ryan Paul
01.05.08
07:16

While I was at Yale, I heard many stories about Paul Rand, most of them casting him, at least to me, in a negative, tyrannical light: how, during crits, he would tear off the wall student work he didnt like, how he'd call students stupid, and how he'd give the same utilitarian assignment over and over again (design a logo for x) to graduate level students. Obviously Rand is an important figure in American Graphic Design, and I do value aspects of the 'old-school' approach, but I think he comes from a time in which the idea of a "Master" was still a desirable thing, and when the notion of absolutes was still tolerated. While hero worship does continue, I hope it's not to the extent that would allow students and young designers to tolerate abuse from perceived 'authorities'.
Manuel
01.06.08
02:48

Ryan Paul;
Paul Rand doesn't come across as a friendly or warm person. But that is to discredit his remarks.
Rand crudely telling students to 'get out' - not become designers - is a kind of spiritual remark and not to be taken that literally. It has two dimensions in it for me, not having been there and not having known Rand at all of course.
It sounds like a test of one's real passion and dedication to design, and an invitation to think about what it actually means to practice it. But it also talks about how history treats graphic designers, linking it to this list of semi-forgotten German names. It is almost like: if you choose to become a graphic designer, this is what will finally become of you. Maybe Rand was very much (if not over-) aware of how graphic design gets remembered and how it gets forgotten. Reading Michael Bierut's article on Rand, it's striking how Rand emphasized the cover as opposed to a book's inside, for example (which indeed doesn't make Rand a better designer in the long run).
Anyway, this is my speculative explanation for the way Paul Rand acted in that classroom; from what is written here I agree with Lorraine Wild.

Daniel van der Velden
01.06.08
06:15

I meant of course: that is not to discredit his remarks. Sorry!
Daniel van der Velden
01.06.08
06:19


•—•
—•—•
•—

Speaking of no-nonsense pronouncements:
"The development of new typefaces is a barometer of the stupidity of our profession!"
I thought of your last post about Futura.
Herb Lubalin wrote in Print magazine:
"Single-handedly Rand was responsible for the revival of Futura."
As a student of Paul Rand do you agree with Herb? If so, can you think of an important design in which Paul Rand used Futura?
Carl W. Smith
01.06.08
06:42

Michael Bierut
01.06.08
09:43

Daniel, I think I understand your point. It is very likely that by saying "get out" he may have been suggesting "get out if you don't have the passion" or even "get out unless you're prepared to become a historical obscurity."

I don't want to cast the impression that I've been harboring sour grapes all this time. 16 years later, there are no plans in my foreseeable future to "get out." And his comments, positive or negative, never challenged my conviction to stick with it.

As for Lorarine Wild's comments, I agree that there is little information available on the designers Mr. Rand admired so much. But it begs the question: If their contributions were so important, why weren't they more widely documented? Is it possible that they're not nearly as important as Mr. Rand believed? Could they be obscure for a reason?
Ryan Paul
01.06.08
01:06

I think it's fascinating that as the Rand legend grows it also becomes more diffuse. People form a personal relationship with the work now instead of the man. For example, I always thought of Rand's corporate identity work (for IBM, UPS, etc.) as the career-defining, deeply conflicted work he did at his prime. After proposing this idea to a colleague he said, "I always loved his drawings and thought of that as the bullshit he did to make a living." Perhaps this is just the difference between a perverse critic and a dedicated craftsman but if you talk to twenty designers you'll get at least ten different "master theories" of Rand.

Rand once said of the word design, "There are many true definitions." It would be corny to say that the same applies to the man himself. But it would also be true.
dmitri
01.06.08
08:25

I had a chance to chat with Milton Glaser a few weeeks ago at Designsim 2.0. His lower case ds are strikingly similar to Rand's. When I asked about it he said it (the style of writing) came from the Italian font Chancellor.

Being a novice hand writing analyst I can tell, by looking at Jessica's note, that Rand was a practical person with a fair sense of self.

If anyone cares to critique this Rand portrait I'm drawing for the AIGA I would greatly appreciate it. He was an angry, knobby-looking old codger for sure.
felix sockwell
01.06.08
08:51

Here's the part where I begin to feel sympathy with Rand's frustration.
Ryan Paul, if you think for a minute that the amount of documentation on historical figures is an accurate indicator of the quality of their work, well, all I can say is that your understanding of the issues in design history is...incomplete. For just one example, you could refer to Andrew Blauvelt's recent DO post about the underdeveloped history of midwestern American designers, many of whom were excellent and dedicated and obscure only because they did not produce their work in major urban centers.
And as far as dmitri's comment, Rand was complicated but he wasn't all that. That fuzzy mythologicization that dmitri describes is anti-historical, and it while it may serve some weird emotional yearnings for missing daddies in the hearts of some graphic designers, it does not really illuminate anything about how we got where we are (or maybe it does, and it's just too disappointing!).
Lorraine Wild
01.06.08
09:08

Lorraine, why haven't you gotten Jens Gehlhaar and Andrea Tinnes working with you on the O.H. Hadank bio?

One of the exciting things about american graphic design culture is how it builds and revises with each successive generation...and the impetus for starting your program, right.
Jay
01.07.08
03:30

Lorraine, why haven't you gotten Jens Gehlhaar and Andrea Tinnes working with you on the O.H. Hadank bio?

One of the exciting things about american graphic design culture is how it builds and revises with each successive generation...and the impetus for starting your program, right.
Jay
01.07.08
12:04

Speaking of Rand, Philip Meggs in A History of Graphic Design said:

"To engage the audience successfully and communicate memorably, he knows that the designer's alteration, juxtaposition, or interpretation is necessary to make the ordinary into something extraordinary." (351)

While I may have assumed incorrectly that Jessica Helfand checks Design Observer commentary on a regular basis, I was surprised that no one acknowledged my attempt at alteration and juxtaposition.

Given that a blog is designed and has certain designs on readers and respondents, what does the comment mode embody? Is it (echoing Arendt) a table around which like-minded people discuss their likes, dislikes and shared concerns? Is it a classroom, where respondents (like eager students) raise their hands from the back of the room to get the teacher's attention? Or is it a daisy chain or conga line where (as with the discussion of Rand) reminiscence, critique, and hagiography (note Lorraine Wild's post on "fuzzy mythologization") take their turns in line?

How would Rand have graphically described the work of a blog?
Paul Zelevansky
01.07.08
04:08

Sorry, Paul: but I have a day job.

My immediate response is that Mr. Rand would have hated blogs, but before you malign such thinking as anti-democratic, I daresay most people of his generation would have responded this way.

A more cogent response to conga lines and hagiography — arguably things Rand would have hated also — will require a bit more reflection. I'll get back to you.
Jessica Helfand
01.08.08
05:34

Jessica:
I was drawn into the commentary by your mention of the thesis about the SQUARE as I have done some work about that. I wasn't expecting an engraved immediate reply, but it did feel odd to stand in the blog room (waiting on line?) and not be noticed. I don't think this was just politeness, like this guy has gravy on his shirt but we don't want to embarrass him. Among other things, I am interested in the social, graphic and linguistic implications of beliefs, including what is or is not democratic about a blog discussion, and would not presume to judge Rand's take on intellectual sharing.

I recall a NY Times story (5/30/98)about an on-line alcohol support group in which one participant admitted to a murder and most of the group defended his "privacy" and the sanctity of the group against the desire of a handful of people to at least check out his story. In the end, he was arrested and convicted.

If you do in fact have a desire to get back to me about any of this--lines or squares--that would be great, but it could be back channel as well. Either way, I'll keep checking in on the Design Observer site.
Paul Zelevansky
01.08.08
01:31

How lucky you are to have known him.
What's astonishing to me, is how Mr. Rand's legacy acts as a conscience for those who struggle between the logic and simplicity of functional modernism, and the chaos of emotionally derived post-modern form. In moments of design insecurity (too often) I find myself wondering, 'what would Paul Rand think?' The answer, I know, would not be favorable. And what else should I or anyone else expect? I've concluded that what brings such focus to Mr. Rand is not so much the work that he has left behind, but the manner of how he conducted his life. Mr. Rand believed being a designer was a calling. It did not end when the office lights go out, it is in fact, an instinctual urge that manifests in both conscious and subconscious thought at all times. It required an unending appetite for learning and understanding. For most of us, the burden of applying our own design principles to every facet of our lives is often too much to shoulder -- Mr. Rand had it even harder considering his predilection (think of the pain a modernist endured upon entering an automobile with tail fins). So for me, it's no wonder he advised students to get out while you can.
Robert Dweck
01.08.08
02:45

Is the use of deceased designers as spiritual guides a good thing? A cult that mediates upon the visage of a stubby, angry yet visually talented guy from Brooklyn: another manifestation of the New Age?
plakaboy
01.08.08
04:57

It's great to praise Paul Rand, because he was among the most important designers. But look: I'm author of the No. 1 Art Appreciation college text in the USA, and I could not get permission to use his IBM logo to reproduce in the book. Because the descendants keep a tight grip on everything, I was told. Does anyone else see a solution here?
Patrick Frank
01.14.08
11:09

I just read Ryan Paul's comment regarding his encounter with Paul Rand. About the same time I was a student at Art Center in Pasadena. My teacher, Lou Danziger, and friend of Paul Rand asked him to speak with a small group of students. He acted in almost the same manner as Ryan described. But my interpretation of his actions was much different. What I heard him say was this, "Not everyone can make a successful career as a designer. If you can't commit to doing it right, get out now while there is still time." Of course he said it like Ryan wrote it. He was on target then and is still on target today. I appreciated his honesty and insight.
Jason Gramke
01.15.08
08:26

many a person who comes to the height of knowledge in their field may say similar things. Well, maybe not theologians. Some how they seem to be different. In more calculating fields I'd call these warnings and accompanied gruffness at times: discovering the respective truth. Committing to doing it right and following it through to the end can be haunting as much as daunting.

.
Nancy
01.15.08
09:03

beautiful and inspiring. thank you for sharing.
lisa
01.17.08
04:06

Big Bro:

You're more like Rand in Critique than you think. Your recent outburst on Brand New in reference to xerox Identity Redesign was SPOT ON. It was truely a moment that made PAUL RAND Proud.

You've been Anointed.

Like Denny Crain with his Mad Cow asking Alan Shore to pull the trigger.

I'll do the Honors, with Rubber Bullets of course.

Jessica:

My personal note from PAUL RAND was shorter and more meaningful.

PAUL RAND was preparing students for life.

Many of us know the World is uncaring and unforgiving. It will chew you up and spit you out.

Much of PAUL RAND's character and persona can be surmised by his comment to William Drenttel,
antagonistic, insightful, and loving. Most important, providing one with a platform to aspire and live up to.

To know PAUL RAND is to love him.

Much of what you read about Paul Rand is folklore some of it true almost all the perceived negative is taken out of context.

The Mayor:

"But it begs the question: If their contributions were so important, why weren't they more widely documented? Is it possible that they're not nearly as important as Mr. Rand believed? Could they be obscure for a reason"?

I assume PAUL RAND was talking about:

0. El Lissitsky

1. O.H.W. Handak

2. Lucian Bernhard

3. Otto Apke

4. Alexy Brodovitch

5. Adolphe Mouron Cassandre

6. Willem Deffke

7. Gustav Jensen

8. Alfred Mahlau

9. Hans Schleger

10. Valentin Zietara

The above list of Designers are the Designers PAUL RAND Revered and influenced his career.

This is generally the list PAUL RAND provided Students to study.

PAUL RAND was self educated in Design a proclamation he made himself. He learned to Design by studying these Designers and others in Gebrauschgraphik the oldest Design publication in circulation.

These Designers can be easily found in any numerous International Design Publications such as, Gebrauschgraphik, Idea(JAPAN) Modern Publicity, Graphis, International Poster Annual, others.

They are obscure to American Audiences because American Design Publications focus on American Designers Exclusively.

I'm largely self taught. Although, I have a formal education. I took the time to learn and Arm myself with an Education in Design History.

In case anyone missed these links below.
Compliments of Jerry The King Kuyper.

Steve Jobs on PAUL RAND.

http://www.artofraw.com/2007/12/my-mentor-paul-rand-and-interview-with.html

Before the terminology Global Warming, Al Gore's Oscar Winning Film, An Inconvenient Truth.

Here's PAUL RAND's Egual. A Designer that introduced us to Alternative Energy, almost thirty (30) years ago.

This Designer was ahead of his time, a TRUE Renaissance Man WITHOUT PEER.

Full to the Brim of Stirring Images.

http://dasfilmfest.com/?id=270

DM

The Hostile Takeover of Corporate Identity



DesignMaven
01.23.08
12:20

If schooled in 1992 times one really did miss the time was design was nice and dirty, before Adobe/Autodesk came and was allowed to make it a clean sewer.

George Nelson came to Pratt to speak to Industrial Designers almost a decade earlier. He was just as abrasive and dismissive and said the same "get out now" to the students..

You know what?, so what.

And I remember that about at that same time, 1992 in NYC, certain writer/designers panning all "digital designers" while going on to gather fame based on their later "expertise" with the medium.

It takes a "like/+1" immerssed "Designer" to equate "obscurity with non value", but then again, Designers are just Human... well once they were.;) look again.
Larry Rosenthal
07.31.11
01:58



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