Paul Rand is one of the most renowned American graphic designers, and is best known for his posters and corporate identities including logos for IBM, UPS and ABC. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Rand also designed many beautiful and influential book jacket covers. Steven Heller, a prolific graphic design author and critic, gives a wonderful overview of Rand’s cover designs in this video presentation from the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Heller talks about how Rand’s radical designs broke many prevalent cover design rules. A few things I find inspiring in his work are his use of collage, hand-drawn illustrations, and typography. It’s also worth noting that many of Rand’s covers are non-representational. What I mean by this is they don’t represent a narrative instance or character in the book; rather he uses symbolism, shapes, lines, patterns, and dollops of color to strike a mood.
If you’re intrigued, and you’d like to learn more about Paul Rand, check out the other videos in the Paul Rand Lecture Series.