Inspiration Quest! We look at a design legend: Paul Rand

Inspiration Quest! We look at a design legend: Paul Rand

Paul Rand. Known for his corporate identities, he was the man behind those of IBM, ABC, UPS, NeXT and many more. He designed numerous ad campaigns for products ranging from cigars and brandy to medicines and magazines.

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His style was simplistic; beauty doesn’t necessarily require complexity. “Ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting.” Rand believed that a logo had to be simple to stand the test of time.

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Ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting.

-Paul Rand


At Reality, we’re often trying to make a mental note of things that inspire us. We seek out that thread we sometimes find: of inspiration, of creative thinking. We see something so small, something so minute, but, like zooming into the tiniest speck, you can suddenly be lost in a new ocean of stimulus. The key is to not actually be lost, but use the inspiration to fuel you’re next idea.




We heard Rand was going to be featured in the Museum of the City of New York so we took a trip there to be inspired and see what we could learn.


Rand’s work has a simplicity and clarity to it.


Design is about sweating the details. Because Rand’s style was so refined, he sweat all the details out until the only thing left was the essence of his idea. This is something you can gather from looking at his work.


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

-Paul Rand

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In our work we sometimes get muddled in the process or the way we can do something. We try to make something flashy at the cost of losing the essence of what we want to communicate. That’s not to say complicated things can’t be well thought out, but either way, the work is equally as challenging.


Those inspiration pools we fell into while there evoked many emotions; the humor he sometimes used, the iconic nature of his pieces brought forth a desire to get back to the basics.


Here’s a quick list of things that caught our eye…


IBM identity

This is probably his most recognized identity. Seeing the uses of his logomarks over the various facets of the company’s materials and architecture through history solidify why it was such a profound work.

More on IBM here.


NeXT identity

Very polarizing work by Rand. Some people hate it, some people love it.

Good summary here.


El Producto Cigars

Using the Cigar as a character and more.

See some of the work here.


Visit the event’s page here: Everything is Design.

The event goes until July 19, 2015.

Got a big idea? Let's talk -
We are excited to make it a reality.


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