Paul Rand

Paul Rand

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Paul Rand (1914-96) was a pioneering figure in American graphic design. Adopting what he called a 'problem-solving' approach, he drew on the ideas of European avant-garde art movements such as Cubism, Constructivism and De Stijl, and synthesized them to produce his own distinctive graphic language. As an art director, teacher, writer and design consultant to major companies including IBM, Oliveti and Ford, he was a major force and influence in the field of graphics and visual communication and enjoyed a committed following. Rand's career spanned almost seven decades and numerous chapters of design history. Rand's own books are solidly thematic, whereas this definitive collection of his key published and proposed works is medium-driven. It explores the full range of his advertising, publishing and corporate identity work. The distinguished Swiss graphic designer Armin Hofmann, who taught with Rand at Yale University, contributes a foreword; George Lois, one of the most eminent figures in advertising and a follower of Rand, writes an inspiring introduction; and Jessica Helfand, one of Rand's former Yale students and a highly respected design writer, has captured his educational achievements in a lively concluding essay.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 254 x 290 x 26mm | 1,578.52g
  • Phaidon Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 302 colour and 145 b&w illustrations, chronology, notes, bibliography, index
  • 0714839949
  • 9780714839943
  • 140,022

Table of contents

Routes - the boy art director; advertising - modernism comes to Madison; publishing - the play instinct at work; corporate identity - good design is good business; Paul Rand - author; Paul Rand - the modern professor, Jessica Helfand.

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Review quote

'New York Times art director Steven Heller has teamed up with Phaidon to publish the first comprehensive survey of Rand's work - a hefty volume of 250 copiously illustrated, large-format pages. ... Heller skilfully weaves Europe's influence on Rand into the book ... Only history will reveal if any graphic designer can bestride the 21st century as Rand did the 20th. If you don't already have his books, this would make a valuable addition to any designer's library.' Design Week 'Steven Heller's authoritative and highly detailed biography of one of the true pioneering giants of 20th century design, is the first book of Rand's work that does not actually bear the authorship of Rand himself. ... Reichart's elegant display of Rand's formidable work is given centre-stage. ... Chronicled with immense thoroughness and through his long-standing friendship with Rand, Heller has also drawn a vivid and engaging picture of Rand's character and intellect, so inextricably linked to his individualistic approach to design. ... this book is an outstanding tribute, in both literary and visual terms, to a truly inspirational man. ... Alan Fletcher described Rand as the 'first guru of design' - fitting homage to an exceptional designer, author and eminent educator - and this is a book which every graphic design student should be made to study.' Chartered Society of Designers Journal 'Steven Heller and the other contributors do not disappoint: the depth of the research and the quality of the analysis have resulted in a comprehensive examination of Rand's career, personality and philosophies.' Creative Review ' ... It's a pleasure and a joy to see all this work together in one place. We're all used to seeing reproductions of various Rand designs, but nothing short of a comprehensive exhibition has shown as much of his work all at once as this book does. The reproduction is splendid: the colour work is very good ... The design of the book is very much in the Rand style, but, more important, it displays his work expansively, dynamically, and clearly. The most obvious thing about the work, when you see all together like this, is how good it makes you feel. ... Quite simply, it's a good book. ... Heller's prose is fluid and his thinking is assured ... Paul Rand's life is not just a series of brilliant tableaux, it's an argument. This book puts the argument in context. For that, it belongs on your shelf right next to Rand's own books.' John D Berry, U & l c 'This large-format book gives as coherent and complete a picture of Rand's work as a visual communicator as Rand would want us to have. Steven Heller's narrative is largely Rand's narrative: information gathered through interviews with Rand followed up by interviews with supportive colleagues from the advertising, publishing and corporate design phases of his career. The visual material is excellent and beautifully reproduced.' EYE ' ... careful selection of brilliant visual imagery ... In wisely selecting a thoughtful designer to compose Paul Rand, Heller has been handed a beautifully designed and printed book. Jessica Helfand's effective entry, Paul Rand: The Modern Professor, written after Rand's death, is an acute, perceptive, subtle and layered portrait ... ... a valuable book for anyone with an interest in design and culture.' Baseline ' ... In the Anglo-American tradition of biographies as portraits of a life and work, the author weaves observation on the history of design together with biographical anectdotes thus creating at times an almost novelistic depiction of Rand's often hot-tempered personality. These associations make the book entertaining ... By outlining the career and work of one of the really greatest design personalities, this book can also be considered a history of graphic design in this century. The fact that it contains an extensive collection of works from all his creative periods and fields is in itself grounds for considering this book a standard work on Paul Rand.' Form (Germany)

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is Senior Art Director at The New York Times. He is also editor of the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design and co-chair MFA/Design Program of the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is author and co-author of numerous books including Graphic Style: From Victorian to Post-Modern and Graphic Wit and Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design. In 1996, Heller received the New York Art Directors' Special Educator's Award. Armin Hofmann is one of Switzerland's foremost graphic designers who taught with Rand at Yale and at the Brissago Summer School. George Lois, wunderkind of American advertising, says he owes everything to Rand. In his own right, Lois is the first among equals in the creative revolution in US advertising - he was responsible for the original VW campaign - and no more eminent figure exists in the field. He is author of The Art of Advertising and his most recent book What's the Big Idea? (1991) was widely acclaimed. Jessica Helfand, a former Rand student at Yale, is the new-media columnist for Eye magazine and writes regularly for i-D, Print and the AIGA Journal on design issues. She runs a design studio devoted to new media and is a highly respected writer.

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