Ellie Jurd – Rand and Scher

Graphic Designers – Paul Rand and Paula Scher

  • Paul Rand – ‘Everything is design, everything’
  • Paula Scher – ‘Language is a deadly weapon’

Paul Rand, Graphic Designer, noted that ‘everything is design, everything’ and Paula Scher, Graphic Designer, puts that quote into play every day when she and her 18 artist/designer friends and colleagues work in partnership with clients at Pentagram.  They are busy designing everything from architecture, interiors, products, identities, publications, posters, books, exhibitions, websites, identities, and digital installations.

Some examples of Paula Scher’s work consist of creating identities for Citibank, Microsoft Windows 8 and Office 2010 as well as branding and identity systems for architecture, such as The Public Theatre, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Opera and the New York Ballet.  Scher’s images appear similar to the now culture of New York City.

The graphic designer, Paul Rand (Peretz Rosenbaum) was born in August of 1914 and died of cancer in 1996.  Paul was known as a master of many disciplines in graphic design, he moved from editorial and advertising to corporate and packaging design, creating identities for IBM, Westinghouse, ABC, NeXT and Enron.  Paul Rand’s contribution and work in graphic design assisted in convincing business that design is an effective tool and forms part of the strategic process of operating any business.

Both Paul Rand and Paula Scher are similar in their design theories/practices, they give suggestion that intuition plays a significant part in design.  Rand notes that intuition is the initial phase in any creative work.  Rand and Scher also consider that design is based on the ‘Play’ instinct, with there being no formulas in creative work, or in the visualisation of an idea.  Scher explains that in some respects good design crosses unknown territory, and being inexperienced, sometimes holds the key to new ideas.

I agree with Rand when he considers that in an environment in which time is money (for example, the corporate world or industry), a person has no time to play, busy grasping at every straw they can, a person can become inhibited or blocked, with there being little time to create conditions of play, which produces beautiful design.

Paula Scher makes mention of the designers’ terrain, whereby a designer navigates their way through expectations and tastes of various individuals in an organisation or corporation, against business needs, and constraints of the market place…… Getting a large diverse group of people to agree on a single methodology for all of their corporate communications means a designer needs to strategise and play the diplomat as well as the psychologist.  Paula indicates this process is worth money, and believes that’s what clients pay for.

From research, I feel Paul Rand’s designs are colourful, playful and simple in shape, space, line, and colour.  Paula’s designs, to me, appear non-conventional, busy, clever and different.  I particularly find Paula’s design work in architecture, not only innovative, but brave and free to try something different, something new, outside of the normal everyday, why not paint large letters on buildings and floors?

Rand notes that design requires function, usefulness, rightness and beauty.  Paul Rand’s advice to an art student – ‘Work hard and read about aesthetics.’

Paul Rand – Designs




Paula Scher – Designs




Paul Rand Website – www.paul-rand.com

Paula Scher Website – www.paulascher.com

Pentagram – www.pentagram.com

Wikipedia – www.wikipedia.org – Paul Rand

Wikipedia – www.wikipedia.org – Paula Scher


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