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700195 Design Histories And Futures

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700195 Design Histories And Futures

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Course Code: 700195
University: Western Sydney University

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Country: Australia

Identify and analyse examples of design as part of historical contexts of visual practice?Experimentation ,ideas,social,and cultural events.
Explain influential cultural themes, theories and doctrines that inform the design histories consider with reference to primary and secondary literature about exemplary design approaches.
Evaluate the contributions of select designers to these movements and periods of design practice by analyse examples professional cultural roles and relevant literature and by making things visible through design outcome.
Demonstrate understanding of the impact of design on the sustainability of the future
Demonstrate research and literacy skills by performing journal and book searches on design history and evaluate the quality of his information for written scholarship.
Demonstrate English language writing skills.


There are very few designers whose work and name are etched forever in the history of designing, and Paul Rand is one of them. The influential graphic designer revolutionized the world of graphics and gave the art of graphic designing a respectable status. He is best known for his logo designing and corporate branding.
Rand was born in 1914 in Brooklyn and grew up in a strict Orthodox Jewish family. His artistic interest was evident even as a young child when he drew and painted signs. He educated himself about art in New York Public Library and got a part-time job in the early 1930s (Heller, 1997). His works show his keen understanding of designs and identity. He could use different elements of designs to create a nice symbol that became a brand name or corporate identity. What people saw was not just a logo or design, but identified with the brand through the design. Rand died in 1996, but his works remain very much alive in exhibitions and collections.Rand’s body of work
Paul Rind’s illustrious career spanned well over six decades of design history. His graphic designing style elevated the art to a higher profession. He began working during the thirties while he was a teen and by the early 1940s, he had already left a significant impact on advertising, package design, book, and magazine (Heller, 1997). Rand studied at the Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design.  He worked for renowned clients like ABC, UPS, Westinghouse and others (Montgomery, 2015). It is remarkable to see how he established a strong presence in the field of design in a short time. Rand’s early, illustrative works show the influence of reductive German advertising and Jensen. There was no distinctive Paul Rand look in the earlier times as he freelanced for many clients (Heller, 1997). He is known as one of the most iconic graphic designers of the 20th century.  One can see how he borrowed elements from Bauhaus, de Stijl, and constructive designs from fine artists such as Matisse, Klee, Miro, and others (Johnson, 2015). His graphic work earned international recognition and made him famous, and he became a brand himself.Examples of designs
Rand is often referred to as the “Picasso of Graphic design.” He shook up the world of American advertising and book cover designing during the fifties. Later he created famous logos for the well-known brands (Johnson, 2015). He infused branding in business with the help of his clever designs. His vast body of work includes vintage magazines, book covers, children’s books and more. One can see the lively and humorous mix of drawing, painting, lettering, photographic montage and painting in his designs.
Fig 1: Montgomery, A. (2015). Paul Rand remembered – Retrieved from https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/2-8-march-2015-2/paul-rand-he-single-handedly-convinced-business-that-design-was-an-effective-tool/
There are several examples of his works as he developed logos for many well-known companies.  Rand designed the “Advertisement for Jacqueline Cochran cosmetics” which shows a pair of shapely legs wearing sandals and balancing a bottle of lotion placed on the black and white ball (Montgomery, (2015). The name Jacqueline Cochran is placed at the side and in bold and alternating colors. Some letters are suggesting the use of the cosmetic are placed gracefully along t6he curve of the leg.  It is a very typical graphics work from the artist who places unique elements together and different lettering style to create a unique design.
Fig 2: Montgomery, A. (2015). Paul Rand remembered – Retrieved from https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/2-8-march-2015-2/paul-rand-he-single-handedly-convinced-business-that-design-was-an-effective-tool/
Another attractive design can be seen by “I Know a Lot of Things,” the children’s book cover that shows the graphic cut paper style from the artist. Colorful squares of different colors are placed all over the book cover. At the lower end, one sees the head of a little boy, only partly. One can just see his eyes and the colorful capon his head. A green bird sits on his head as he states in the upward direction. This is a fun and exciting book cover that tells the children that they do know a lot of things. There are rhythm and rhyme in the design that is unique, and you remember the designs.Contribution and impact of the designer
It is impossible to express the degree of difference Rand made to the world of graphic designing. The work of the legendary designer made marketing and business to take graphic designing seriously (Joss, 2015). Rand is looked up as one of the most capable American designers who thought regarding need and functionality. American advertising was very different before the 1940s. Rand modernized the advertising design in America by making intelligent design solutions. He soon became famous for not just his designs but also his philosophy of design. He established himself as the proponent of modern design and all those designers of the ’50s and ’60s owed a lot to Rand (Heller, 1997). He made the profession of commercial artists more reputable. He transformed the field and paved the way for others in the field of graphic designing. It was during the late fifties when started working for the corporations, that he showed how to use the design for business and shape their public identity (Johnson, 2015). He gave companies like ABC and IBM a unique identity with his designs. His designs were not just logos but expressed the many facets of the business. Rand’s persona and his brand name created the first corporate identity that would eventually prove to be the most enduring. He convinced businesses that they could use design as a useful tool (Montgomery, 2015). He developed logos for many brands like the IBM, ABC, Ford, and UPS. Influences and as an influencer
Rand was very much part of the 1940s and 50s art movement when the American designers were looking inward for inspiration. He seems to have played a significant role in catalyzing the movement and give the artist a direction. One of his primary strengths was to think like a salesman and explain the need for an identity to the corporation. He convinced businesses that design was an essential part of their identity and expression, and could make the business stand apart (History of Graphic Design, 2018).  Clearly, he was successful in doing so and created impressive logos that are still used by the brands. Rand appreciated the works of artists like Jan Tschichold and Paul Cezanne. He was inspired by their creative output and applied the creative energies in his graphic designs. In his book “A Designer’s Art,” he clearly appreciates those artists and the underlying connections. He writes” What Cezanne did with apples, Picasso with guitars, Leger 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 de-familiarize the ordinary” (History of Graphic Design, 2018). One can see the importance of stepping away from the ordinary in Rand’s designs. It could be the way he used colors, or the typeface or the images to create e an unfamiliar image. The result was lively, original and unique work.The Designer’s philosophy 
Rind’s design philosophy was simple, and it was to create a memorable design which was not forgotten quickly. His designs raised public awareness and built corporate consciousness. Is graphic language was based purely on form and carried no stereo-typed style (Heller, 1997). He combined images of different scale and colors and various bold typefaces together. His mix of unusual colors and mixing of bold typefaces with fine hand-lettering created a visually stimulating design. (Montgomery, 2015). It is impossible to express the degree of difference Rand made to the world of graphic designing. The work of the legendary designer made marketing and business to take graphic designing seriously. Paul Rand’s works show the clever balance he created between passion and practicality.
Rand was aware that graphic designs carried a much lesser life when compared to artworks and painting. Those graphics works could be easily forgotten and survived less. Thus, it was essential to make them unique and unforgettable by giving them a particular form and shape (Johnson, 2015). The same principle is still applicable in the image-saturated world of digital media today. By creating unique logos and designs, the imprinted the identity of a brand in the minds of millions. Those logos were never forgotten, and neither were the brands. He ushered in European Modernist graphic ideas to America and his covers and designs soon began to attract international acclaim (Montgomery, 2015). In his book” Thoughts on Design” Rand writes that any visual communication should be seen as the personification of form and function. Careful study and observations give rise to ideas and results in a good design (Rand, 2014). In visual terms, man lives in a world of symbols, and those symbols are the common language between the artist and the spectator. A symbol can be anything; it could be a form, letter, photograph, geometric shape or an illustration (Rand, 2014). The same symbol could be used in various and versatile ways to create new languages and designs.
Paul Rand is a name that would never be forgotten by the modern graphic designers. They still get inspired by his use of collage, typeface, and artwork to engage his audience. He challenged his viewers to interact and think about his design. He took risks through his unconventional approaches to the use of colors, shapes, and letters to create a unique experience for the user. The results was a design that was never forgotten. Understandably, he is best known to build corporate identities with his graphic designs. He developed a unique design philosophy and created unfamiliar designs by doing so; he became a brand himself.
Heller, S. (1997). Thoughts on Rand. Print, 51(3), 106.
History of Graphic Design. (2018). Paul Rand, history graphic design Retrieved from https://www.historygraphicdesign.com/the-age-of-information/the-new-york-school/177-paul-rand
Joss, M. (2015). Exhibition Report and Review: Everything is Design, the Work of Paul Rand. Seybold Report: Analyzing Publishing Technologies, 15(20), 5.
Johnson, K. (2015). A Master Designer’s Legacy Etched in a Few Letters. The New York Times. p. 22.
Montgomery, A. (2015). Paul Rand remembered – “he convinced business that design was an effective tool”. Design Week (Online Edition), Retrieved from https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/2-8-march-2015-2/paul-rand-he-single-handedly-convinced-business-that-design-was-an-effective-tool/
Rand, P. (2014). Thoughts on Design. Chronicle Books, 1(1), 1–96.  

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