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Discover what made the future: Paul Rand

László Moholy-Nagy, Bauhaus professor, notable photographer and artist, said of Paul Rand:

/“….. He is an idealist and a realist, using the language of the poet and businessman. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems but his fantasy is boundless.”/

Paul Rand, born Peretz Rosenbaum, seemed drawn to design from the very beginning. He would paint signs for his father’s grocery store, who didn’t think there was any future in art and sent him to school and night school leaving, Rand to pursue design in addition to his school work. He took an interest in European magazines and learned from them. Rand would eventually attend art schools.

Rand started producing stock images for a company while studying which helped him build a comprehensive portfolio, which was largely German influenced. It was around this time that somebody remarked that his personal transformation ‘was the first corporate identity change he created’. Rand reached an international audience by doing work for ‘Direction’ magazine, asking for his only remuneration to be artistic freedom.

Rand’s rise to prominence started with page design for Apparel Arts, known better now as GQ. He would soon after become responsible for the fashion pages of Esquire… at twenty-three.

Rand received much acclaim for his corporate work, producing corporate identities for companies like IBM, ABC, Cummins, UPS and *whisper* Enron. It was not just his design prowess that made him successful but the ability to tell the corporation why this identity or design was suited to them. He is lauded for being the first to make business realise that design is more than just a nice to have… it has progressed so much further since.

IBM’s logo was a creative masterclass of the time, it was an image of an eye, a bee and an ‘M’. Rand became a professor emeritus of Graphic Design at Yale. He was also inducted to the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.

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