Frank Zachary and Alexey Brodovitch on Paul Rand, and Paul Rand on trademarks,
from Portfolio magazine #1, winter 1950.
'Paul Rand is a boyish-looking 35-year-old Brooklyn-born designer whose ability to create good-looking advertisements has earned him an international reputation, a horde of imitators, the vice-presidency of a large Manhattan advertising agency (William H. Weintraub & Co.) and a $100,000-a-year income. As a trademark designer, Rand is relatively little known, although he has produced some of the most effective and original business trademarks in use today. This insert (below) demonstrates his virtuosity in this field. It also reveals Rand's grasp of the technique of trademark design, which is to give concrete form to an abstract idea by means of a single graphic shape or symbol, without assistance from the written word. Says Rand:
"A trademark is the signature of a company as opposed to the signature of an individual. It should as closely as possible embody in the simplest forms the essential characteristics of the product or institution being advertised. It should be easy to identify, and it should serve to glorify the merchandise in question, which is often dull and utilitarian by nature. A trademark is a miniature poster, which should sell in a nutshell".
Rand's best trademarks bear out his theory in practice, deriving their appearance and visual impact from the form and function of the product involved, as in his Coronet Brandy waiter whose head is shaped like a brandy glass, and his Helbros Watch Company monogram H which ends in the tight flourish of a coiled watchspring.'
$100,000 in 1950 equals $900,000 today, so this should be very inspiring if you're a graphic designer under 35. Alas, not so much if you're older.
Alexey Brodovitch's PORTFOLIO magazines: if you can find them and afford them, they're well worth having.
The classic green umbrella used by all the farmers in Tuscany. Made of heavy duty bright green canvas with a thick wooden shaft and red painted handle (carved from one piece of wood). I bought one when I lived there in 1988 and gave it to my parents, who have to walk a quarter mile every day to get their mail, which seems a very Tuscan-farmer thing to do.
Below: The only other one I've ever seen outside of Tuscany (even though it's actually in Tuscany): from a Sarah Moon fashion spread in Realities magazine, 1968.
British journalist and author (then) and now Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic's awesome London loft, designed by Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick. It actually looks like a small Design Museum itself, or a spaceship that's been travelling around galaxies, curating. The only thing missing is a Braun KF 20 coffee maker.
from Suzanne Slesin and Stafford Cliff's amazing The International Book of Lofts (1986).
...and not actually designed by Kubrick and Scott, but by Jan Kaplicky in London and David Nixon in Los Angeles, two architects in the transatlantic firm Future Systems.
Food & Wine magazine came over for a Christmas party we had with some fabulous friends, some vintage dinnerware, a crazy bronze elk tray, and vintage Italian recipes from Linda's Nonna and Mamma. You can read all about it and get the recipes fantastica in this month's (December) issue, out now.
Our newest print is inspired by the company motto in a 1920's office.
We thought it was so appropriate for these times that we redesigned it a little to hang in our own office. (It should hang in everybody's office!)
24"x19", printed with archival ink on 100lb. Bristol board. Shipped rolled.