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Paul Rand: A Designer's Art

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Graphic Design which fulfills aesthetic needs, complies with the laws of form and exigencies of two-dimensional space; which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs, and geometrics; which abstracts, transforms, translates, rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors, groups, and regroups is not good design if it is irrelevant. Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the d Graphic Design which fulfills aesthetic needs, complies with the laws of form and exigencies of two-dimensional space; which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs, and geometrics; which abstracts, transforms, translates, rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors, groups, and regroups is not good design if it is irrelevant. Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates is not good design if it does not communicate. - Paul Rand For the design student, teacher, professional designer, and, indeed, for anyone interested in the creative communication of ideas, Paul Rand: A Designer's Art is certain to be a book that is both provocative and enlightening.


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Graphic Design which fulfills aesthetic needs, complies with the laws of form and exigencies of two-dimensional space; which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs, and geometrics; which abstracts, transforms, translates, rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors, groups, and regroups is not good design if it is irrelevant. Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the d Graphic Design which fulfills aesthetic needs, complies with the laws of form and exigencies of two-dimensional space; which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs, and geometrics; which abstracts, transforms, translates, rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors, groups, and regroups is not good design if it is irrelevant. Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates is not good design if it does not communicate. - Paul Rand For the design student, teacher, professional designer, and, indeed, for anyone interested in the creative communication of ideas, Paul Rand: A Designer's Art is certain to be a book that is both provocative and enlightening.

30 review for Paul Rand: A Designer's Art

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Paul Rand has surprised me in this book. I've had it sitting on transient shelves for almost ten years, and it seems I've never read through the whole thing until now. His criticisms, now over fifty years old, remain relevant. Graphic designers today are still just as susceptible to "designing ads in which the only aesthetic criteria are the use of fashionable illustrations and 'in' typefaces." And elsewhere: "Stubbornness may be one of the designer's admirable or notorious qualities (depending Paul Rand has surprised me in this book. I've had it sitting on transient shelves for almost ten years, and it seems I've never read through the whole thing until now. His criticisms, now over fifty years old, remain relevant. Graphic designers today are still just as susceptible to "designing ads in which the only aesthetic criteria are the use of fashionable illustrations and 'in' typefaces." And elsewhere: "Stubbornness may be one of the designer's admirable or notorious qualities (depending on one's point of view)—a principled refusal to compromise, or a means of camouflaging inadequacy. Design clichés, meaningless patterns, stylish illustrations, and predetermined solutions are signs of such weakness. An understanding of the significance of modernism and familiarity with the history of design, painting, architecture, and other disciplines, which distinguish the educated designer and make his role more meaningful, are not every designer's strong points." Regarding two-dimensional design adhered to three-dimensional objects: "Technologically, scientifically, and hygienically packages of today are practical, but are they beautiful? Functionalism does not preclude beauty, but it certainly does not guarantee it either. . . . The obsession with functional shapes and new materials is a questionable limitation even for the conscientious designer blessed with a sensitive client. It tends to promote a misconception of simplicity, translating this admirable quality into bareness or rendering it self-conscious to the point of vapidity." His call that each design problem should be treated uniquely, without preconceived ideas for style, that it should aim toward the realm of beauty, especially in light of it becoming a part of our influencing environment; this call is very agreeable. Nonetheless I find it ironic, for you can recognize a Rand work a mile away, so often employing the same playful, colorful stripes and zig zag lines. I'm not sure it's a bad thing, nor am I sure it's avoidable. The voice or handprint of the designer is bound to come through, if only a little. There's little I outright question in this book, much I fully agree with (especially ringing true to my own experiences), and plenty I have need to come back to and study a little closer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Far be it for me to criticize Paul Rand—but I can't say I enjoyed this book very much. Maybe a third of it was interesting or at the very least informative, the rest was bogged down with a defensive stance against the way the world misinterprets designers and their differences from artists. I could understand one or two sections about this, but to repeat it over and over didn't come across as very valuable to me. I've always enjoyed his work—but if you are going to read one of Paul Rands books, g Far be it for me to criticize Paul Rand—but I can't say I enjoyed this book very much. Maybe a third of it was interesting or at the very least informative, the rest was bogged down with a defensive stance against the way the world misinterprets designers and their differences from artists. I could understand one or two sections about this, but to repeat it over and over didn't come across as very valuable to me. I've always enjoyed his work—but if you are going to read one of Paul Rands books, go for "Thoughts on Design" and save this one for a rainy day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    L

    very self-aggrandizing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heramb

    Paul Rand was a self-taught designer. That is what the core of this book is about. Learning through analyzing your own work and thoughts.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lorenzo Diaz campos

    Considerado uno de los diseñadores gráficos y de la comunicación más trascendental del Siglo XX, sin duda Rand estableció las bases para la comunicación moderna. Rand fue sin duda un visionario, un adelantado a su tiempo. A lo largo de su fructífera carrera creo icónicas campañas publicitarias y magníficas imágenes gráficas de empresas de gran envergadura como Westinghouse, IBM, Olivetti, y la televisora ABC. Sus propuestas rompieron paradigmas y crearon nuevos arquetipos. Este volumen reúne escr Considerado uno de los diseñadores gráficos y de la comunicación más trascendental del Siglo XX, sin duda Rand estableció las bases para la comunicación moderna. Rand fue sin duda un visionario, un adelantado a su tiempo. A lo largo de su fructífera carrera creo icónicas campañas publicitarias y magníficas imágenes gráficas de empresas de gran envergadura como Westinghouse, IBM, Olivetti, y la televisora ABC. Sus propuestas rompieron paradigmas y crearon nuevos arquetipos. Este volumen reúne escritos e imágenes que resumen la manera de ver su quehacer, no se trata de una biografía o de un trabajo monográfico normal, el enfoque es todo otro. El libro presenta su manera de pensar desde un punto de vista muy personal, explicando lo que él considera ser el arte de ser diseñador. La colección de ideas y sobre todo de imágenes es deliciosa, el resultado es sólido. A través de las páginas se descubre la manera de ser y pensar de este ícono del diseño gráfico. El trabajo de Rand, condensado se convierte en un manifiesto que ningún diseñador debe perderse. Sus bases son sólidas, el éxito está más que probado. Lectura obligada para creativos en todas las disciplinas del diseño. Por cierto, el libro mismo está diseñado por... Paul Rand!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ihor

    Гарна базова світоглядна праця по графічному дизайну. Хотілося б більше новітніх зразків дизайну, але з історичної перспективи дуже круто.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Calee

    I just opened this, but it may become my bible. The first chapter is "the beautiful and the useful" and there is a section on art for art's sake. I just opened this, but it may become my bible. The first chapter is "the beautiful and the useful" and there is a section on art for art's sake.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arti

    The book is written by Paul Rand, an American art director and graphic designer… I learnt that he is best known for his work on corporate identities (logo designs, packaging etc.), and that he is often credited for demonstrating the power of design as a business tool and hence for bringing graphic design into mainstream… his designs show that ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting… he advocates a minimalistic approach with focus on functional-aesthetic perfection… it is a tr The book is written by Paul Rand, an American art director and graphic designer… I learnt that he is best known for his work on corporate identities (logo designs, packaging etc.), and that he is often credited for demonstrating the power of design as a business tool and hence for bringing graphic design into mainstream… his designs show that ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting… he advocates a minimalistic approach with focus on functional-aesthetic perfection… it is a tribute to the simplicity and functionality of his designs that the logos - created many decades ago - are still as relevant and appealing, some like those of IBM, NeXT, abc, Westinghouse are iconic, have good consumer recall, and have also set benchmarks for impact and efficacy… the book includes some of his other work (like the cover designs for magazines such as Direction) and these reflect the same philosophy. I happened to read the book by chance, but it was interesting to see the perspective of a designer… written as a collection of short essays, he shares his theories and philosophy on visual design - he suggests that anything related to visual manipulation of words and/or pictures comes under the umbrella of graphic design and he touches some interesting ideas, such as lines and stripes in relation to typography (explaining it thru the IBM logo, he shows how the stripes draw the letters together and lead them into each other, whilst also building dynamism due to the increasingly-sized letters) - I never thought it that way when I looked at the logo and it was interesting to see the thought process behind each element of the design…he talks of repetition and how it creates rhythm and a kind of reassuring movement… he talks of the versatility of symbols and how by juxtaposition, association and analogy, a symbol can represent different ideas… he talks of collage and montage as tools to integrate seemingly unrelated ideas or objects in a single picture… he shares his own views on how under-utilised black as a colour has been, the use of rebus as a mnemonic device to engage the reader and add a bit of fun, the role that humour plays… he provides an insight into the design process and says that a designer is confronted with three classes of material - the given (product, copy, slogan, media, production process etc), the formal (space, texture, proportion, rhythm, colour, shapes etc), and the psychological (visual perception, optical illusion, spectators instincts, emotions etc) - and since all this material is often inadequate, vague, uninteresting and unsuitable for visual interpretation, the designer’s task is to restate the problem… the book has interesting reflections and enables you to see design with fresh eyes and look beyond visuals into the ideas behind!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Linton

    I've always found the "art vs design" debate exhaustive and formulaic, so to dive into Rand's mind is a treat. His views on graphic design remain relevant decades later due to their basis in truth, passion, and human nature. This book does a wonderful job both pushing the box that has been systematically created around graphic design and reminding the designer to create for themselves. All in all, his writing embodies the meaning of graphic design: a process that seamlessly code switches while a I've always found the "art vs design" debate exhaustive and formulaic, so to dive into Rand's mind is a treat. His views on graphic design remain relevant decades later due to their basis in truth, passion, and human nature. This book does a wonderful job both pushing the box that has been systematically created around graphic design and reminding the designer to create for themselves. All in all, his writing embodies the meaning of graphic design: a process that seamlessly code switches while also creating the code, playing both leader and follower.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gedi௨

    The alchemy ♾ of visual mastery. “Simply brilliant, brilliantly simple mastery of “refining that single idea to its most perfect visual form and content (with)..no sketches, no meetings with the client, no midway reviews, just the most serious investigation, development and design resolution of an idea imaginable.” The Assistant, Jayme Odgers © https://www.printmag.com/daily-heller...) The alchemy ♾ of visual mastery. “Simply brilliant, brilliantly simple mastery of “refining that single idea to its most perfect visual form and content (with)..no sketches, no meetings with the client, no midway reviews, just the most serious investigation, development and design resolution of an idea imaginable.” The Assistant, Jayme Odgers © https://www.printmag.com/daily-heller...)

  11. 5 out of 5

    liuba

    Very worthwhile book. No doubt Paul Rand is a legend of design world, and in many ways his work attitude became modern classics; though, nowadays some matters he describes here, especially the imagery, are quite dated, and may be read only as an evidence of once used to be, as well as analysed and deconstructed - and only thus employed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Manas Saloi

    Loved this one. I always loved symmetry, consistency in design. But this book has led me to realise that graphic design is all about being whimsical. Standing out. Rand plays with fonts, color, space , humour and creates stuff which can be recognized from a mile as his work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Summa Smiff

    A nice overview of the work of Paul Rand with a selection of his opinions and advice for the commercial designer. Not a lot of specific, actionable advice, but a nice read nevertheless, due to Rand's clear voice and uncompromising positions on how to be an artist as well as commercial designer. A nice overview of the work of Paul Rand with a selection of his opinions and advice for the commercial designer. Not a lot of specific, actionable advice, but a nice read nevertheless, due to Rand's clear voice and uncompromising positions on how to be an artist as well as commercial designer.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vangelis Venetsanopoulos

    simple design advice from the great paul rand. well designed book too

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ecah

    i must to read this book

  16. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny Nikolaev

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michal

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wina Tristiana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  20. 5 out of 5

    Firdaus Nazari

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gregoire Thiébault

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edison W

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ramla Zafar

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daren Raykovich

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  27. 4 out of 5

    Manfred

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gonca Koyuncu

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Varun Choraria

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