From Lascaux to Brooklyn


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Paul Rand


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One of the world's leading graphic designers, Paul Rand has had a profound influence on the design profession: his pioneering work in the field of advertising design and typography has helped elevate "commercial art" to one of the fine arts. In this lively and visually arresting book, Rand awakens readers to the lessons of the cave paintings of Lascaux—that art is an intuitive, autonomous, and timeless activity—and he shows how this is conveyed in works of art from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to a painting by Cézanne, African sculpture, a Gorgan pitcher, and a park in Brooklyn, all of which are aesthetically pleasing no matter what their era, place, purpose, style, or genre. Rand defines aesthetics and the aesthetic experience, in particular as it affects the designer, and he helps members of his profession articulate and solve design problems by linking principles of aesthetics to the practice of design.

Illustrating his ideas with examples of his own stunning graphic work, as well as an eclectic collection of masterpieces, Rand discusses such topics as: the relation between art and business; the presentation of design ideas and sketches to prospective clients; the debate over typographic style; and the aesthetics of combinatorial geometry as applied to the grid. His book will engage and enlighten anyone interested in the practice or theory of graphic design.

Paul Rand's vast experience has included art direction for both magazines and advertising agencies, packaging, book illustration, and typography, as well as painting and art education. Among the numerous clients for whom he has been a consultant and/or designer are the American Broadcasting Company, Cummins Engine Company, IBM Corporation, United Parcel Service, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He has taught at Pratt Institute and Cooper Union and is now professor emeritus at Yale University. During his lifetime he has been honored with prestigious awards from many professional and academic groups, and in 1987 he was the first recipient of the Florence Prize for Visual Communication. His work is in the permanent collections of museums in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He is the author of many books, the most recent of which are Design, Form, and Chaos and Paul Rand: A Designer's Art, both published by Yale University Press. 

"Paul Rand is a man who has shaped and influenced the course of 20th-century graphic design to a remarkable degree. His talent, wisdom, and philosophy fuse to produce a designer of rare individuality, a designer who sets a shining example for graphic designers not only in America but around the world."—Shigeo Fukuda

"From Lascaux to Brooklyn is wise, wonderful, and essential."—Milton Glaser

"Visually and verbally arresting. . . . Discriminating, erudite, and eclectic in its examples, this work clearly and convincingly communicates Rand's commonsense approach to the pursuit of quality in design theory and process. Highly recommended for all academic libraries."—Library Journal

"A handsome, delightful, and eloquent book—perhaps the most wonderful thing he's done—in large part because it possesses the traits that are cited in the text as attributes of esthetic form. Further, he uses written language with the same care and precision that designers insist should be used with graphic communication. At its best, his writing is graceful, enlivened, and spare—like his finest logos."—Print Magazine

"[A] charming and beautiful book."—Ballast Quarterly Review

"A handsome, delightful, and eloquent book. . . . Rand's writing is graceful, enlivened, and spare, like his greatest logos."—Roy R. Behrens, Print

"Rand's journey from the time before graphic design to his current studio works is reflected in From Lascaux to Brooklyn, an instructive trip through the mind of one of America's great designers."—Byron Ferris, Communication Arts

"As a primer of design, Lascaux to Brooklyn is superb. By presenting step by step evolutions of designs and explaining his own processes of thinking through design problems, Rand gives considerable insight into visual creative process."—William Andrew Myers, British Society of Aesthetics Newsletter

ISBN: 9780300066760
Publication Date: February 21, 1996
200 pages, 7 1/2 x 10
20 b/w + 60 color illus.
Paul Rand

A Designer`s Art

Paul Rand

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