Paul Rand

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A Designer`s Art

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Paul Rand was one of the world’s leading graphic designers. Honored by prestigious awards from many professional and academic groups, he was the first recipient of the Florence Prize for Visual Communication in 1987. He is the author of many books, the most recent of which are Design, Form, and Chaos and From Lascaux to Brooklyn, both published by Yale University Press.

"Paul Rand is an idealist and a realist, one who uses the language of the poet and the businessman.  He thinks in terms of need and function . . . but his fantasy is boundless."—L. Moholy-Nagy

"Of all the designers who affected me when I was growing up, Paul Rand has remained the most consistently rewarding for me. His unrelenting demand for excellence is the benchmark for all practitioners.  In a profession that is constantly pulled toward the banal, the trivial, and the predictable, the history of his accomplishment keeps us honest."—Milton Glaser

"Rand hits homers, one after the other, and he's been doing it for half a century."—George Lois

"Paul Rand: A Designer's Art surprises and excites in many ways. . . . The quality of the printing is of a rare perfection. . . . In the future I will present this book to our Swiss printers as 'the' measure of quality.  The book also impresses because of the works of Paul Rand, who has been world-famous for decades as a committed, passionate designer. . . . Rand's works convincingly demonstrate his ability to transform ideas into generally understandable, highly effective visual form. His solutions to problems meet both the task set and the highest aesthetic requirements. . . . I know no designer whose curiosity about all creative fields is so comprehensive and intensive. . . . Rand is both model and master. It is hoped that this new book will be thoroughly studied by instructors, students, and practitioners of the designer's art, and that they will measure their own work against it."—Josef Muller-Brockman, Zurich

"Experience circumscribed by design knowledgeability taste and imagination may be considered the hallmarks of this 239-page book of essays written by one of the world's leading graphic designers, Paul Rand. . . . Because Rand has the ability to transform ideas into understandable, highly effective visual form, his work will be a useful 'textbook' for present designers, students, instructors and other interested parties.  But more than that, his essays can be appreciated for their passionate espousal of excellence in design—a goal that serious publishers and their designers should cling to in a society that is today drifting almost casually toward the banal, the pretentious and the predictable."—Publishers Weekly

"Rand is a master of design, making skillful use of typography, color and symbols in posters, product advertisements, book jackets, trade marks, and more. His taste and versatility are attested in the scores of examples reproduced in these pages. . . . . A noted Swiss designer has called Rand 'a model and a master,' and this definitive anthology proves it to the hilt."—John Barkham Reviews

"Mr. Rand has uncommon taste and sensibility, and his work is as personal an expression as the painting of Miro or Matisse, and for some of the same reasons. . . . As the reader of A Designer's Art will see, Mr. Rand has usually succeeded in being far more than 'interesting.'  His work can be arresting, deliciously witty, or childishly (deceptively) direct. . . . In his book Mr. Rand has assembled and expanded on a number of the brief essays he has published over the years, and he has illustrated them with examples from the work of others he admires. . . . Mr. Rand has chosen his illustrations brilliantly to enlarge upon the points made in the essays, and to show how he has given form to the ideas enunciated in his texts. . . . We are exposed to some of the elements Mr. Rand feels are fundamental to the kind of work he does. . . . Beyond the elegant application of these fundamentals, Mr. Rand's work is distinguished for its ready wit and richness of reference. . . . Mr. Rand describes his work with the same precision, economy and passion he displays in his graphic designs, and he lets us understand the nature of his relationships with his clients, his audience and his art."—Alan Fern, front page, New York Times Book Review

 "Beautifully-made, exceptional. . . .A Designer's Art may well be one of the finest works on the subject of graphic design ever written; for me, it is already the most valuable, to be read and re-read regularly. . . . Leafing through the pages, I was constantly reminded of how much of the best of our  man-made visual environment he has, indirectly or directly, been responsible for; how much he has quietly influenced, not only countless other designers, but the entire direction toward responsibility and respectability the field has taken; and how much his work is based on word-play and humor. . . . A designer's Art is to graphic design what Ben Shahn's The Shape Of Content is to drawing and painting, at least for me; they are both at once autobiographies, statements of personal philosophy and integrity, seminal textbooks, and astoundingly readable and entertaining volumes as well. They cannot help but to make us proud to labor in the same fields as the authors, and inspire us to better work."—Dugald Stermer, Communication Arts

"The outstanding design book of the year. An exemplar of its subject, it is an influential graphic designer's discussion of modern visual communication. At first glance, it seems a picture book. Its pictures, however, prove not to be illustrations but essential pieces of a sustained argument."—Thomas Hine, Philadelphia Inquirer

"[Rand] is a communicator of historic proportions—an innovative, prolific communicator who has become a living legend. His newest book, A Designer's Art, is both a verbal and visual statement of his own design philosophy. . . . The book contains many thought-provoking ideas on design. While the text is brief, Rand's paragraphs pack an eloquent punch on behalf of aesthetic values. . . . Even a casual observer of graphic landmarks will be rewarded by this thoroughly engaging and beautifully designed book."—Robin Jareaux, Christian Science Monitor

"The most aggressively tasteful book I have ever seen. Its display on your coffee table will frighten the polyester/pink flamingo crowd into leaving you alone."—M.G. Lord, Newsday

"Paul Rand is one of the industry's greats, a pioneer of abstract and minimalist design. He also knows how to express himself in words. This volume combines beautifully reproduced and arranged examples of Rand's best work with his essays on his creations and medium. He has a magic touch with everything."—Art Direction

"A great deal can be learned from this book without reading a word. . . . The patterns of relationships among Rand's designs, as he has laid them out here, become clear and convey a message of their own about the primacy of intelligence, clarity, order, and harmony in communication. A Designer's Art is also a pleasure to handle...It is simply a beautiful book. . . . This is not meant to leave the impression that the writing is negligible . . . these essays make fine teaching instruments."—D.J.R. Bruckner, AIGA Journal

"Paul Rand's work is refreshing because it is so direct . . . [his] prose is as spare and elegant as his design, and it is a pleasure to have the best of it assembled in one volume. . . . Before we can design, we must See, and Paul Rand has shown us where to look."—Michael McPherson, Industrial Design

"Paul Rand has been writing about design since 1946. . . . In this new book, Rand has updated many earlier essays, writing thoughtfully and clearly . . . he writes as well as he designs."—Al Gowan, Prin

"The book—itself designed by Rand—is a beautiful work and the designs reproduced in it are, arguably, as artistically significant as any this century has produced. . . . Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"His dual role of theoretician and artist gives [Rand's] work a strength that is reflected in its coherence.  His latest book incorporates many of his most well known essays including Thoughts on Design."—Art and Design

"Collection of the best work and writing of Paul Rand, a leading American  graphic designer who has played an important part in transforming commercial  art into a fine art.  In his writings he discusses among other issues the role of humour in design, the complexity of colour, and the politics of design." —Artbibliographies

"Not only is it an excellent book for design students, but it has equal value for design professionals (graphic designers, photographers, architects). Rand has contributed in a significant way to the profession's understanding of itself."—Kathy Wesselman, Bloomsbury Review
 

Winner of the 1987 Florence Prize for Visual Communication given by the Università Internazionale dell’Arte.