Paul Rand’s use of typeface

I read the following on a book on Paul Rand, by Steven Heller (pg. 122) and I thought it applied well to our discussion on the texts by Beatrice Warde and Jeffery Keedy

…1945, without previous experience in book design–a craft that was jealously guarded by traditional typographers and compositors

So, as Elizabeth had mentioned yesterday, Keedy’s text about Beatrice Warde, comparing her views on book typography, in 1932, and his views, in 1993, on book typography, (not necessarily classics) as well as the use of type in ads, is not feasible. It is like comparing oranges and apples.

…since Rand was a functionalist, he respected those rules that contributed to legibility, and his interior book design was clean and handsome. His typography illuminated the theme of the book, but it was void of allusions to the past.

…while Rand refused to adhere to outdated rules and modes of composition, he never entirely rejected classical design, especially venerable typefaces, when deemed appropriate: ‘it is a mistake to think that the modern typographer does not have a healthy respect for tradition’, he wrote in American Printer in ‘What is Modern Typography?’ Rand argued that, ‘one cannot deprecate the contributions made by such men as Goudy, Rogers…


Posted on February 23, 2011, in Text. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. “Looking through his design, it is clear that Paul set up a rule in himself of the use in texts.”

  2. I think that paul rand is a great designer, it is so intersting to see his designs for IBM wich are so clever, fun and brilliantly designed. Im sure that today with IBM’s brand guidlines they could never accept such inovaitive designs

  3. christianarvidsson

    I agree. Much more playfulness with shapes and colours than what would be allowed today. Everything nowadays needs to be so slick and corporate. Slick can be nice as well, but this is more interesting.

  4. I think somebody as Paul Rand would still be able to sell his witty idea for the IBM logo nowadays, but that for newcomers it’s incredibly hard to get pass all the “gates”in the corporate world. The people in charge of these decisions are usually not familiar with design, but marketing strategies and that’s probably one of the reasons that we enter several environments and they all seem exactly the same. “E.A.T” feels the same as “pret a manger”, doesn’t it?

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