Friday, February 17, 2012

Paul Rand

I found some cool things about Paul Rand that related to the videos we watched in class. This article explains his process when he was designing the UPS logo among other things. Here's the part that discusses UPS:

For UPS his challenge was to transform the out-of-date shield into a modern image. He streamlined the contours, used a lower case letter and placed a simple drawing of a package on the top of the shield. “I didn’t try anything else,” Rand admitted. 
“If you show them more than two ideas” Rand would say, “you weaken your position. (...) You make one statement, and this is it”. This doesn’t mean Rand’s ideas always came floating, He often made fifty sketches before showing one. “If you think it comes easily, it’s not easy. I can solve any problem in the world, but it does not always come instantly.” But very often the first idea that came into his mind was the solution.

The quotes from Rand really give you a feel for what he was like and how he worked. He seems like an interesting guy and has a lot of good tips for logo design, and design in general. Another article describes his presentation method and how Steve Jobs reacted to it when being pitched the NeXT logo. Here's the section on that:

Amusing is Rand's brash presentation style. He usually gave corporate chiefs only one logo to "choose" from, accompanied by a booklet explaining why his design was not merely attractive, but inevitable. "I was convinced that each typographic example on the first few pages was the final logo design," Steve Jobs recalls of Rand's book for NeXT, which showed the four letters, then paired them with the computer's signature black box, and then arranged them in a square. Jobs thought he was getting lovely typography, but Rand's final logo was more than that. "I was not quite sure what Paul was doing until I reached the end. And at that moment I knew we had a solution... Rand gave us a jewel, which in retrospect seems so obvious." 

Here is an image from Rand's NeXT booklet and the final logo:

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