Wednesday, May 23, 2007
ILY: em1940'S 1950'S
Paul Rand (1914-) is one of the most influential figures in American graphic design. He explored the formal vocabulary of the European avant garde art movements and developed an unique and distinctly American graphic style which was characterized by simplicity, wit and a rational approach to problem solving.
Educated in New York at Pratt Institute from 1929-1932, Parson's School of Design from 1932-1933 and the Art Student's League from 1933-1934, Rand was a major force in editorial design.. Rand has been influential as a design consultant, as well, developing identity systems for major corporations such as IBM and Westinghouse.
From 1956-1969 and beginning agin in 1974, rand taught design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Rand was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972.
Although Rand was most famous for the corporate logos he created in the 1950s and 1960s, his early work in page design was the initial source of his reputation. In 1936, Rand was given the job of setting the page layout for an Apparel Arts magazine anniversary issue. “His remarkable talent for transforming mundane photographs into dynamic compositions, which [. . .] gave editorial weight to the page” earned Rand a full-time job, as well as an offer to take over as art director for the Esquire-Coronet magazines. Initially, Rand refused this offer, claiming that he was not yet at the level the job required, but a year later he decided to go ahead with it, taking over responsibility for Esquire’s fashion pages at the young age of twenty-three.