How Commercial Artists Evolved into Graphic Designers Thanks to Paul Rand

“Ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting.” – Paul Rand, American Graphic Designer

The 1870s ushered in the current era of logos. The first logo to be trademarked was the Bass Red Triangle in 1876. A young commercial artist would come to enter the world of logo design some 60 years later and shake things up.

Paul Rand was a remarkable talent with an illustrious career than span nearly six decades. He possessed a knack for translating numerous corporations’ visions into a memorable corporate identity with enviable staying-power. Think IBM, UPS and ABC.

His belief in the survival of a logo was that it ought to be “designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.” The simplicity of his logo designs would never lead you to draw the conclusion that the approach was a precise one and with its origins grounded in very complex theory.

Paul Rand's eclectic logo portfolio included some of the globe's biggest brands
Paul Rand’s eclectic logo portfolio included some of the globe’s biggest brands

Rand was often times reputed in some instances for presenting only one concept to his clients because he felt that specific design was the solution to their companies’ problem(s). He left them with the option of using it or not but ensured that he was always paid for his efforts.

Some of his logo designs cost upwards of USD $100,000.00. Rand proved that not only is a graphic designer an artist, but the creative individual is equally a business problem solver.

In my opinion, he should continually be recognised as a pioneer for his contributions to design and as a graphic designer, I am very grateful to the genius that is Paul Rand.

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