Post 2 (Helene) – Paul Rand’s famous logos

Posted: March 14, 2012 by Helene in Uncategorized

First what is a logo? Rand says poetically:

A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign.
A logo does not sell (directly), it
A logo is rarely a description of a business.
A logo derives
meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes,  not the other way around.
A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more  important than what it looks like.
The subject matter of a logo can be almost anything

Paul Rand was a very prolific designer of logos. There are a lot of logos of American companies that have relied on his creative flair.  His style is quite distinctive. Simple design, yet strong where the use of colour and white space around and in the design creates a strong identity. The best testimony to this is that for most of his logos, very few changes have been made since and today, in 2012, we can confidently identify with them and recognise the product it represents.

The American Broadcasting Logo was designed by Paul Rand in 1962 and is still used today. This video shows the many version since, from the time black and white television was the norm, to the highly digital version of the small screen where colour and effects have been added. However, the design remains the same. Even though Paul Rand never created a font as such, he used a style very much his signature: simple and effective lettering, most of the time continuous lines, where both colour and white spaces create the design.

The next famous logo he designed in 1972 is for IBM

The company introduced a new version of the logotype. Created by noted graphic designer Paul Rand, the new logotype replaced the former  Beton Bold typography with City Medium, as the letters “IBM” took on a more solid, grounded and balanced appearance.D Paul Rand’s horizontal stripes  replaced the solid letters to suggest “speed and dynamism.” In the intervening quarter-century, the basic design has remained constant, one of the most recognized logotypes in the world, and a design that has been widely imitated by others.

The old logos looked like this and would represent the transition to new systems

UPS, United Parcels Service  logo was designed by Paul Rand where he used the shape of a feodal shield and a package on top. In later years, the shield remained, and the packages disappeared as their services changed.

These logo designs of Paul Rand again show a great mastery in using negative and positive designs, with a great sense of lines and not a lot of “decorations”.


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