Paul Rand Logo’s

Rand’s most widely known contributions to design are his corporate identities, many of which are still in use. IBM, ABC, Cummins Engine, UPS, and the now-infamous Enron, among many others, owe Rand their graphical heritage. Below are some examples:

Borzoi Books

Borzoi Books

El Producto Cigar Company

El Producto Cigar Company

Cresta Blanca Wine co

Cresta Blanca Wine co

abc TV

abc TV

Esquire Magazine and Coronet Brandy

Esquire Magazine and Coronet Brandy

Although his logos may be interpreted as simplistic, they are very effective in creating a lasting identity for the corporations he designed for.  Below are a few key rules that Rand consistently discusses in all of his interviews and published critiques:

 1.“A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.”

It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning,” Rand said. “If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.”

 2. The subject matter of a logo need not match the subject matter of the business it represents. “The only mandate in logo design is that they be distinctive, memorable and clear.”

Surprising to many, the subject matter of a logo is of relatively little importance, and even appropriateness of content does not always play a significant role.

3. Presentation is key

“How to present a new idea is, perhaps, one of the designer’s most difficult tasks,” Rand said. “Everything a designer does involves presentation of some kind–not only how to explain (present) a particular design to an interested listener (client, reader, spectator), but how the design may explain itself in the marketplace…”

4. “Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”

This one speaks for itself really.


Below is an interview with Steve Jobs, where he describes the design process that he and Rand went through:


A few cool links are below:

Rands Logos explained

Biographic Website

Entire logo library

Logo biography


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