I recently returned from a quick trip to New York City. The reason for the trip was to see the exhibit Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand. Paul Rand is considered a master in the field of graphic design and has influenced multiple generations of designers. Myself included. To try and encapsulate Rand’s career in this post would be a disservice so I’ll only make a couple of points of interest.
- Early in his career, Paul Rand worked on Madison Avenue in Advertising. He was at the forefront of not only bringing a European and Modernist approach to advertising but he also helped to create the advertising team structure of copywriter and art director working collaboratively. Advertising, up to this point, was largely driven by the copywriter handing over copy and a concept to the art director to execute without much consideration to the visual component to advertisements. Rand worked several years, in this collaborative manner, with Bill Bernbach. Bill would later establish his own firm, Doyle Dan Bernbach (DDB) – which is famous for many campaigns, such as VW’s “Lemon.”
- Paul Rand worked as a consultant for many companies. One, in particular, was IBM. Paul not only developed the logo that is still in use today but also created a system that was used worldwide and helped to clearly define IBM’s identity. He worked on everything from the logo to stationery to packaging design to corporate publications to installations and environmental design. He showed us how design could touch multiple design disciplines.
This exhibit is showing through October 13, 2015 at the Museum of the City of New York. I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in Paul Rand and/or design to visit this amazing show. And while you’re there, check out the other exhibits in this beautiful building. They were all fascinating to view and the environmental design for each exhibit was visually exciting and quite informative.