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Paul Rand: Type and Design in Corporate Identity

3 pages
656 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Even after the death of Paul Rand, his design remain in the minds and the practices of many making him one of the most famous designers in the world. According to Paul Rand, "Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations." This has been one of the most adhered to saying in the design world and has impacted many in the field where most of the designs by many have tried to capture this skill within the work. Paul Rand design skills have been used over the past years after they were adopted by many, they are seen on designs all over the world with different cooperates graphic designers implementing this within their work.

Paul's designs for co-operating logos are renowned all over the world even after his death in the year 1996. He was born in the year1914 August the 15th in Peretz Rosenbaum and got his education at the Pratt Institute between the year 1929 and 1932 then later on the Art Students League in the year 1933 to 1934, and he managed to be one of the founders of the Swiss style of graphics. Between the year 1956 and 1969, he taught design at Yale University in New Haven and the year 1972 he was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame making him a legend. In his career, he designed multiple corporate identities and posters which includes the IBM, UPS and the ABC logos which are the trendsetter logos in the corporate world. These logos are work of pure design, and every designer designs their corporate logos with these logos in mind. It was a change in the design world after the implementation of these logos by Paul Rand.

The perception of what a logo should be. Should a logo be self-explanatory? The logo is associated with the product, the services, the business or the corporation that it takes in to the real world hence the logo derives its usefulness from the level of quality of what it symbolizes, for instance, the ABC logo designed in the year 1962, from this it implies that the logo will perform its intended purpose towards the audience before they are properly conditioned. The thought of this challenges a designers skills before starting there work as explained by Paul Rand in an interview. The ability of the designer to deduce the image of the corporate and the audience at hand. Then a clear mental picture of what to provide for the corporate as well as the audience bearing in mind the product or services as well as the image of the corporate. In the design of IBM in the year 1961 the practice of the logo purpose which was not to sell directly the companies services or products but to identify the company.

To make the company stand out among other companies as well as get the products from the company identified among many other products and stand out differently. IBM logo on all its product plays the main purpose as clearly stated by Paul Rand which is identification purposes. And the UPS logo as well which capture a sense of humor in the logo, Rand idea of a logo is the bringing together o different ideas with the corporates the main idea in mind and delivering a masterpiece that clearly identifies the corporate business. As seen in the UPS Logo which, this has helped shape the ideas of many designers in the world today with their creativity and imagination put in to practice and to come up with excellent ideas. Paul Rand managed to shape the world of corporate design and laid down a path for different designers all over the world to follow.



Landa, Robin. Graphic design solutions. Cengage Learning, 2010.

Meggs Philip, B., and W. Purvis Alston. "Meggs History of Graphic Design." (2006).

Wheeler, Alina. Designing brand identity: an essential guide for the whole branding team. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.


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