REQUEST:

Know Your Designers: Paul Rand

Born 100 years ago on August 15th, Paul Rand created some of the logos you take for granted.

First off,  don’t get excited one way or another.  He is not Ayn Rand or Rand Paul.

Paul Rand, he did this:

Paul Rand IBM poster Paul rand logo_abc Paul-Rand--Westinghouse--19_5

via Wikipedia:

Paul Rand (August 15, 1914 – November 26, 1996) was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs’s NeXT. He was one of the first American commercial artists to embrace and practice the Swiss Style of graphic design.

In essence, you grew up looking at this guys designs. For you graphic designers, you have much to thank him for.

According to graphic designer Louis Danziger:

He almost singlehandedly convinced business that design was an effective tool. [. . .] Anyone designing in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to Rand, who largely made it possible for us to work. He more than anyone else made the profession reputable. We went from being commercial artists to being graphic designers largely on his merits.[2]

A moderist through and through, Rand had issues with post-moderism theory and aesthetics. Some took issue with his dismissal of it (including his resigning from Yale when Sheila Levrant de Bretteville was hired), but we here at Corporate Image prefer to look at the positives of his career so you will have to read about that elsewhere.

The core ideology that drove Rand’s career, and hence his lasting influence, was the modernist philosophy he so revered. He celebrated the works of artists from Paul Cézanne to Jan Tschichold, and constantly attempted to draw the connections between their creative output and significant applications in graphic design. In A Designer’s Art Rand clearly demonstrates his appreciation for the underlying connections:

From Impressionism to Pop Art, the commonplace and even the comic strip have become ingredients for the artist’s cauldron. What Cézanne did with apples, Picasso with guitars, Léger with machines, Schwitters with rubbish, and Duchamp with urinals makes it clear that revelation does not depend upon grandiose concepts. The problem of the artist is to defamiliarize the ordinary.

Paul Rand, folks. A great designer and very much not ayn rand or rand paul.


Irving Harper’s World – “Paper is a Versatile Medium”

Via the Herman Miller Site:

Irving Harper is an amazing designer and paper artist.

Known professionally for his iconic contributions to the George Nelson office, including the 1949 Ball Clock, the Herman Miller logo, and the 1956 Marshmallow sofa, Irving Harper’s sculptures have never before been shared publicly. Curated by Katharine Dufault and Jeff Taylor, the exhibit opens Sunday, September 14, 2014, with a reception in The Rye Arts Center Gallery, 1:00-3:00 pm, and runs through November 8, 2014. The following essay is excerpted from Irving Harper: Works in Paper (Rizzoli, 2013) and is accompanied by our WHY DESIGN video profile of Irving Harper at his home in Rye, New York.

Irving Harper paper art

The Herman Miller site has much more information and I would recommend checking it out!

Also if you can get to the Rye Arts Center get yourself down to see the exhibit!


Know Your Designers: Massimo Vignelli: 1931-2014

We would like to celebrate the life and work of Massimo Vignelli whose work has influenced generations and delighted and intrigued (OK and angered) many.

Corporate Image and Naked Binder were created on the idea that “less is more” – clean design, less fuss and better function which was influenced in no small part by Massimo Vignelli the pioneering graphic and interior designer who died Tuesday morning in his Manhattan home. He was 83.

massimo Vignelli - 1931-2014 Modernist Designer

A native of Milan, where he lived with his wife and design collaborator, Lella, until 1965, Vignelli left a Modernist mark on his adopted city. At his peak influence, the designer’s reductionist, less-is-more touch could be seen everywhere in the city, from big-banner department stores likeBloomingdale’s, to the rarified interiors of St. Peter’s Church. The American Airline jetplane flying overhead bore the iconic logo he designed for the company in 1967. “If you can design one thing, you can design everything,” Vignelli was known to remark. This all-inclusive approach to design was, still is, an important lesson he imported from Italy to North America where designers continue to be haunted by over-specialization.

His most controversial design was destined for the underground. Vignelli’s 1972 subway map, which replaced geographical accuracy with geometric clarity, earned him great acclaim from his colleagues and, later, curators. (The MoMA included the map in its postwar design collection.) The design, however, proved extremely unpopular, drawing the ire of New York commuters who didn’t warm to its unsentimental depiction of Central Park, which Vignelli colored gray and made square-shaped. Beyond the muted color scheme and alienating shapes, passengers just had a hard time using the map, and instead, rallied for the “spaghetti” design of yore. After just seven years of use, they succeeded in retiring Vignelli’s masterpiece.

NY Subway map Massimo Vignelli - Corporate Image

Read more about Massimo Vignelli here at Metropolis


AIA awards 2014 Gold Medal to Julia Morgan

2014 AIA Gold Medal Recipient

 

Julia Morgan, FAIA | 2014 AIA Gold Medal Recipient

By Zach Mortice, Managing Editor, AIArchitect

The American Institute of Architects Board of Directors on Dec. 12 posthumously awarded the AIA Gold Medal to Julia Morgan, FAIA, the early 20th-century architect whose copious output of quality work secured her position as the first great female American architect. Morgan is the first woman to ever be given the AIA Gold Medal. By receiving the award, Morgan was elevated to the College of Fellows. (The AIA National Board voted unanimously to waive the eligibility rules, in this instance, that require active membership in the AIA to be elevated to Fellowship.) The last posthumous AIA Gold Medalist was Edward Larrabee Barnes, FAIA, in 2007. The AIA Gold Medal is the highest honor the AIA confers on an architect. It acknowledges an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Morgan’s legacy will be honored at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

AIA President Mickey Jacob, FAIA, notified Karen McNeil, PhD, a historian and Julia Morgan expert that was a member of the steering committee that sponsored her nomination, by telephone immediately after the Board made its decision. “Fantastic! Thank you so much!” McNeil said. “You’ve made my day. I’ll tell the team; they’ll be thrilled.”

Read the rest at the AIA website

P.S. Bit of Trivia: As far as we can tell, Julia Morgan is the first woman to ever win the AIA Gold Medal. We at Corporate Image are excited on both counts, being big fans of her work.


Serious Fun! Happy Birthday Ray Eames!

Happy Birthday Ray Eames!Why should we celebrate designers?

Some designers change the way we think about the world, everyday items and how the world views itself.  Ray and Charles Eames are two designers that saw design as an agent for social change, helping to improve lives and connect people.

Whether creating amazing furniture or influencing on modernism their message of simplicity, great design and innovation is one to check out.

“With a grand sense of adventure, Charles and Ray Eames turned their curiosity and boundless enthusiasm into creations that established them as a truly great husband-and-wife design team. Their unique synergy led to a whole new look in furniture. Lean and modern. Playful and functional. Sleek, sophisticated, and beautifully simple. That was and is the “Eames look.”

That look and their relationship with Herman Miller started with molded plywood chairs in the late 1940s and includes the world-renowned Eames lounge chair, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Charles and Ray achieved their monumental success by approaching each project the same way: Does it interest and intrigue us? Can we make it better? Will we have “serious fun” doing it?”

You can learn more about them here and start to bring that “serious fun” to everything in your life. And Happy 101st Birthday Ray Eames (as of December 15th)!


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS

Categories

Subscribe

[subscribe2]
enter email address to stay connected