Jessica Helfand | Essays

Meet Our Intern: Paul Rand!

Received this week in the mail at Winterhouse

Paul Rand famously despised marketing, and had a personal loathing for focus groups. While he believed almost religiously in the power of good design — and arguably, had he lived, might have been a spirited advocate of the role of branding in visual culture — he pretty much hated any club that would have him as a member, making it hard (if not impossible) to imagine him on Facebook.

Which explains only a part of our surprise upon receiving the mailer shown here. Would Rand have been annoyed by the pushy advertising? Appalled by the faceless figures queueing up below the typographically undistinguished logo? Aggravated by the shade of blue that bears an eerie resemblance PMS 289, or Yale Blue?

He would indeed have thrown it in the garbage, but for another reason entirely, and that is that almost no one called him Paul. He was Mr. Rand to almost everyone on the planet, and remained so until his dying day — when, it has been said, he was still faxing sketches from his hospital bed, but not because he was interested in "growing his business".

Rest in peace, Mr. Rand, and rest assured: good design is still good business — which I suppose is another way of saying bad design means bad business.


Posted in: Business, Graphic Design

Comments [2]

Carl W. Smith

Excellent post.
shawn meek

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