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PAUL RAND graphic designer. August 15, 1914 – November 26, 1996. By: Rubeen Chauhan. Biography Highlights. A self-taught, well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs

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paul rand graphic designer

PAUL RANDgraphic designer

  • August 15, 1914 – November 26, 1996

By: Rubeen Chauhan

biography highlights
Biography Highlights
  • A self-taught, well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs
  • Educated at the Pratt Institute (1929-1932), the Parsons School of Design (1932-1933), and the Art Students League (1933-1934)
  • One of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design
  • Taught design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut from 1956 to 1969, and beginning again in 1974.
  • Was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972
  • Designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS and ABC

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biography highlights1
Biography Highlights
  • His real name was Peretz Rosenbaum
  • In 1935, he camouflaged and abbreviated his overtly Jewish identity, shortening his forename to ‘Paul’ and taking ‘Rand’ from an uncle to form his new surname.
  • At very young age, he started painting signs for his father’s grocery store as well as for school events
  • His career started with a part-time position creating stock images for a syndicate that supplied graphics to various newspapers and magazines.

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biography highlights2
Biography Highlights
  • Rand’s early portfolio was largely influenced by the German advertising style Sachplakat (ornamental poster).
  • Rand remained vital as he aged, continuing to produce important corporate identities into the eighties and nineties with a rumoured $100,000 price per single solution.
  • Just prior to Rand’s death in 1996, his former client labelled him, simply, “the greatest living graphic designer.”

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according to graphic designer louis danziger
According to graphic designerLouis Danziger:
  • “He almost singlehandedly convinced business that design was an effective tool. [. . .] Anyone designing in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to Rand, who largely made it possible for us to work. He more than anyone else made the profession reputable. We went from being commercial artists to being graphic designers largely on his merits.”

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“a logo cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.”

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  • Not only was Paul Rand a phenomenal designer, he was also an accomplished painter.
  • Anyone of his paintings could easily have been turned into a poster, ad or other promotional piece. This shows that Rand not just a designer, but a true artist in any medium.

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children s books
Children's books
  • Paul Rand illustrated several children's books written by his wife, Ann Rand, in the fifties and early sixties. As it happens with true classics, the illustration and layout in Rand’s books looks just as fresh today as when they were first published.
  • His style of illustration, consistent with his design work, is based in a witty use of simple shapes, flat colours and a well-thought composition and layout.

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articles by paul rand
Articles by Paul Rand
  • 1949 - Black in the Visual Arts
  • 1952 - The Trademark as an Illustrative Device
  • 1960 - Advertisement: Ad Vivum or Ad Hominem?
  • 1965 - Design and the Play Instinct
  • 1965 - Trademarks of the World Preface
  • 1971 - Integrity and Invention
  • 1981 - On the RCA Ad
  • 1989 - The Case for the Ampersand
  • 1985 - The Politics of Design
  • 1991 - Logos, Flags, and Escutcheons
  • 1992 - Confusion and Chaos: The Seduction of Contemporary Graphic Design
  • 1993 - Object Lessons
  • 1993 - Failure by Design

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thank you
  • Please visit to learn more about his life, work and corporate identities.

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