In the early 1990s I was fortunate enough to be at an intimate dinner with Paul Rand, after his AIGA lecture in Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art. Paul Rand's stature as one of the country's leading graphic designers is incontestable. For half a century his pioneering work in the field of advertising design and typography has exerted a profound influence on the design profession; he almost single-handedly transformed "commercial art" from a practice that catered to the lowest common denominator of taste to one that could assert its place among the fine arts. His identity work for IBM, UPS, Westinghouse, and ABC-TV is still in service today.
When I was writing my book, Designing Identity, I asked his wife (Rand having passed away) if I could include an essay of his in the book. The answer was positive, as Rand's nature was to educate and inform. It is included here for that same reason. It was orignally published in the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Journal of Graphic Design, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1991.