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Comments (2) Posted 06.03.11 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Jessica Helfand

Meet Our Intern: Paul Rand!


Paul-Rand-Facebook
Received this week in the mail at Winterhouse

Paul Rand famously despised marketing, and had a personal loathing for focus groups. While he believed almost religiously in the power of good design — and arguably, had he lived, might have been a spirited advocate of the role of branding in visual culture — he pretty much hated any club that would have him as a member, making it hard (if not impossible) to imagine him on Facebook.

Which explains only a part of our surprise upon receiving the mailer shown here. Would Rand have been annoyed by the pushy advertising? Appalled by the faceless figures queueing up below the typographically undistinguished logo? Aggravated by the shade of blue that bears an eerie resemblance PMS 289, or Yale Blue?

He would indeed have thrown it in the garbage, but for another reason entirely, and that is that almost no one called him Paul. He was Mr. Rand to almost everyone on the planet, and remained so until his dying day — when, it has been said, he was still faxing sketches from his hospital bed, but not because he was interested in "growing his business".

Rest in peace, Mr. Rand, and rest assured: good design is still good business — which I suppose is another way of saying bad design means bad business.

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Carl W. Smith
06.03.11 at 10:56

Excellent post.
shawn meek
06.07.11 at 10:33


Design Observer encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer and a former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Communications Arts and Eye magazines. A member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director's Hall of Fame, Helfand received her B.A. and her M.F.A. from Yale University where she has taught since 1994.
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DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









BOOKS BY Jessica Helfand

Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture
Winterhouse Editions, 2001

Scrapbooks: An American History
Yale University Press, 2008

Reinventing the Wheel
Winterhouse Editions, 2002

Paul Rand: American Modernist
winterhouse Editions, 1998

Looking Closer 3
Allworth Press, 1999

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