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Paul Rand Facts & Birthday, American - 𝐏𝐚𝐮𝐥 𝐑𝐚𝐧𝐝 Biography
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Peretz Rosenbaum
Pratt InstituteArt Students League of New YorkParsons The New School for Design
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Male
Leo
Brooklyn, New York, United States
82
Norwalk, Connecticut, United States
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Who is Paul Rand?

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Paul Rand was singlehandedly responsible for bringing in class, elegance and panache in the corporate logos. One of the greatest graphic designers ever to be born, he changed the industry completely with his simplistic yet innovative designing and modernism. Interestingly, not only did he change the course of designing but made the profession, which until then did not hold much importance, a reputable one. What’s more, he refurbished the reputation of other designers as well, from being commercial artists to graphic designers. A feature that was akin to Rand and his work was the emphasis that he laid on simplicity and minimalism. Additionally, he had the ability to transform mundane photographs into dynamic compositions. Throughout his life, he designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS and ABC, most of which are still in use today. It was for his contribution as a graphic designer that he was inducted in the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972.

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Paul Rand Childhood & Early Life

Paul Rand was born as Peretz Rosenbaum in Brooklyn, New York.

A prodigious child, he took to painting and other forms of art right from a young age. In the early years, he indulged in painting signs for his father's grocery store as well as for school events.

It was natural for his father to not think of art as the sole provider for bread and butter. As such, he insisted young Rosenbaum to attend Manhattan's Harren High School.

Not giving up on his passion for art, he took night classes for art at the Pratt Institute and various other institutes including, Parsons School of Design and Art Students League.

Despite taking classes in art, his understanding and execution of art was mostly self-taught. Much of what he learned was inspired by the works of Cassandre and Moholy-Nagy.

Paul Rand Career

His first professional step into the world of art was as a part-time employee in a syndicate which provided graphics to various magazines and newspapers. His profile included creating stock images.

While juggling with his work and class assignments, he managed to collect a large portfolio, influenced by German advertising style and works of Gustav Jensen.

He wanted to do away with his prominent Jewish identity and for the same he changed his name and surname. While Peretz became Paul, Rosenbaum was changed to Rand. The new name sounded more American thus helping him in the process.

The new name and the new identity did wonders for him as he garnered a lot of fame and attention. By the time he was in his early twenties, he had earned international acclaim and became one of the sought after art directors of his profession.

Interestingly, his designs on the cover of Direction magazine created waves as he charged no fee for the same in return of full artistic freedom. The designs were greatly appreciated for their novel pattern and intricate detailing. They also laid the foundation for the ‘Paul Rand look’.

In 1936, he was offered to work on the page layout for an Apparel Arts magazine anniversary issue. During his time, he learned the importance of European art and design. He even learned that lines, shapes, and colours transformed to become message-conveying signs and symbols in visual communications.

Given his ability to transform ordinary images into dynamic compositions, he earned a full-time job of an art director for the Esquire-Coronet magazines. Though he refused the offer initially thinking him to be not eligible for the job, a year later, he accepted the proposal. As such, at the tender age of 23, he was handling the responsibility of the Esquire’s fashion pages.

In 1941, he started working as art director of the William H. Weintraub advertising agency, wherein he collaborated with copywriter Bill Bernbach. He worked therein until 1954.

His technique basically included combining text and images and word and pictures to form an effective and engaging message. While most of his advertising designs were innovative, one which requires a special mention was that of Orbach’s departmental store. In the same, he employed a new approach to advertising copy and design.

What made his work distinctive from the rest was the introduction of themes normally found in high art designs into his graphic art. This helped him bridge the gap between the profession of graphic artists and that of Europe’s modernist masters.

In 1947, he came out with a poster for New York Subways Advertising Company wherein he arranged dots and concentric circles in vibrant colours. The poster not only served as an illustrative image, but seemed to the viewers a dynamic composition.

In his long career, his most significant output was when he designed the logos and corporate identities of some multi-national companies including IBM, ABC, Cummins Engine, UPS and Enron. Interestingly, some of them are still in use in the present times.

In 1956, he defined the corporate identity of IBM by designing its logo, which he modified four years later in 1960. In 1972, he created the striped logo, wherein one had eight strips and the other had thirteen strips. He even designed the packaging, marketing and assorted communication for IBM.

In 1956, he joined the faculty of Yale University and his ideas broadly influenced several generations of American designers. He wrote extensively on graphic designing some of which include, ‘Thoughts on Design’, ‘A Designer’s Art’, ‘Design’, ‘Form’, ‘Chaos’ and ‘From Lascaux to Brooklyn’

In 1960, he created the Westinghouse trademark which redefined the importance of simplicity for getting a point across. The minimalistic design greatly emphasized the point that the company wanted to put across.

His most notable later work was for Steve Jobs for the NeXt Computer corporate identity. To blend with the typical ‘Paul Rand look’, the design was simple breaking the company name into two lines that produced a visual harmony.

Paul Rand Awards & Achievements

In 1972, he was inducted in the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.

Paul Rand Personal Life & Legacy

He breathed his last in the year 1996 of cancer in Norwalk, Connecticut. He was 82 at the time of his death. He lays interred in the Beth El Cemetery.

Paul Rand Trivia

He was one of first American commercial artists to embrace and practice the Swiss Style of graphic design. He designed the logos of corporate giants IBM, ABC and UPS, most of which are still in use today

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Paul Rand biography timelines

  • Paul Rand was born as Peretz Rosenbaum in Brooklyn, New York.
    15th Aug 1914
  • In 1936, he was offered to work on the page layout for an Apparel Arts magazine anniversary issue. During his time, he learned the importance of European art and design. He even learned that lines, shapes, and colours transformed to become message-conveying signs and symbols in visual communications.
    1936
  • In 1941, he started working as art director of the William H. Weintraub advertising agency, wherein he collaborated with copywriter Bill Bernbach. He worked therein until 1954.
    1941 To 1954
  • In 1947, he came out with a poster for New York Subways Advertising Company wherein he arranged dots and concentric circles in vibrant colours. The poster not only served as an illustrative image, but seemed to the viewers a dynamic composition.
    1947
  • In 1956, he defined the corporate identity of IBM by designing its logo, which he modified four years later in 1960. In 1972, he created the striped logo, wherein one had eight strips and the other had thirteen strips. He even designed the packaging, marketing and assorted communication for IBM.
    1956 To 1972
  • In 1956, he joined the faculty of Yale University and his ideas broadly influenced several generations of American designers. He wrote extensively on graphic designing some of which include, ‘Thoughts on Design’, ‘A Designer’s Art’, ‘Design’, ‘Form’, ‘Chaos’ and ‘From Lascaux to Brooklyn’
    1956
  • In 1960, he created the Westinghouse trademark which redefined the importance of simplicity for getting a point across. The minimalistic design greatly emphasized the point that the company wanted to put across.
    1960
  • In 1972, he was inducted in the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.
    1972
  • He breathed his last in the year 1996 of cancer in Norwalk, Connecticut. He was 82 at the time of his death. He lays interred in the Beth El Cemetery.
    26th Nov 1996
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Frequently asked questions about Paul Rand

  • What is Paul Rand birthday?

    Paul Rand was born at August 15, 1914

  • Where is Paul Rand's birth place?

    Paul Rand was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States

  • What is Paul Rand nationalities?

    Paul Rand's nationalities is American

  • What was Paul Rand universities?

    Paul Rand studied at Pratt Institute, Art Students League of New York, Parsons The New School for Design university

  • What is Paul Rand's sun sign?

    Paul Rand is Leo

  • When was Paul Rand died?

    Paul Rand was died at November 26, 1996

  • Where was Paul Rand died?

    Paul Rand was died in Norwalk, Connecticut, United States

  • Which age was Paul Rand died?

    Paul Rand was died at age 82