Monday, April 20, 2009

Discourse #2

Paul Rand: The Modern Designer

• Graphic Design is Everywhere
• The Art of Visual Ideas
• Reflection of Economic Realities
• Before the Wars Design was Dry
• Ornament became a kind of Aesthetic Panacea
• WWII propaganda - High Politicized and Socially Polarized Nation
• Paul Rand - Arguably the Most Celebrated American Graphic Designer
• "Less is More"
• Sentiment and Subjectivity Supplanted Logic and Clarity of Purpose
• To Add Value and Meaning
• A Carefully Orchestrated Vocabulary of Simple Form
• The Evolution of Corporate Identity
• Playing the Variable Against the Constant
• A Modern Mark is a Simple Mark
• Stripes take a kind of Visual Identity
• Cross-cultural, Timeless, and Accessible

Graphic Design is Everywhere

These universal signs and symbols are examples of how graphic design is all around us. We use these symbols to communicate ideas that are understood by most any person of most any culture or background and education level. For Paul Rand these types of symbols were the most effective. Those that could cross cultures, languages, and degree of education to reach the vast majority. I would agree that these symbols serve their purpose well but can be rather bland and boring. It may work well for this type of communication but is not necessarily the best solution for all graphic design problems.

Less is More

This is an example of simple design. A design that uses simple shapes and lines to create motion and depth in the piece. Paul Rand believed that the more simple the design the more impact it would have. I believe that to be true in with most design. I think design is easily cluttered with useless elements that make it confusing or over designed. But something like this works really well and illustrates how simple forms can create a dynamic work. Again, I believe simple design is not always the solution because too simple can make it boring. But it is always smart to avoid unnecessary elements in design.

The Evolution of Corporate Identity

This is the update UPS had made to their corporate identity. Though it still maintains the general shape it did when designed by Paul Rand, it has a distinctly more modern look. The old UPS logo lasted some 35 years until it's redesign. I imagine the new logo will not last as long. Times change faster now and updates to corperate identities must be made in order to keep up with the times. I agree that having a consistent logo is beneficial so perhaps making minor tweets is the solution but staying with a dated logo is a bad business decision in my opinion. Not reinventing the wheel but updating with the times.

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