A definitive study of a pioneering figure in American graphic design.
Steven Heller, with texts by Armin Hofmann, George Lois and Jessica Helfand
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.
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.