According to WIRED, perhaps more than any other single designer, Paul Rand (1914-1996) was responsible for defining visual culture in America in the decades following World War II.* He is best known for logo design and corporate branding. In 1962 Rand designed the IBM logo which is still in use today. After receiving my BFA in graphic design I was hired by IBM to work in a corporate design center. Prior to being hired I was asked to have a portfolio review by Rand, IBM’s corporate design consultant. Admittedly, meeting Paul Rand was a bit intimidating for me as a young designer, yet he was most gracious and encouraging! We discussed typography (Bodoni + Helvetica, of course!), the Swiss grid system, and the importance of color. Rand’s modern signature style not only influenced my work in corporate graphic design but also inspires my surface pattern designs. His quote in my blog image captures the essence of creating surface designs: gathering ingredients, discovering visual relationships and arranging them into lovely patterns. Magical!
*For more about his life and work, check out this article on WIRED: "Paul Rand, the Visionary Who Showed Us That Design Matters"