How Paul Rand presented logos to clients

Paul Rand client logo presentation

Mason began, “The trade mark, which in the spacious days before the invention of the corporate image could afford to live in a measure of ornamental luxury, has today become a sharply functional thing, a bright weapon for the attack on the overworked and often sluggish attention of the public. Not only must it serve as the focal point of corporate design programmes: it is often the only medium through which large sectors of the public identify a company and its products at all.

“The design of a trade mark thus becomes an undertaking of the most exacting acuity. Such a mark ‘should be distinctive, memorable, and reflect in some way, however abstractly, the nature of the product or service it represents. Furthermore, it should be practical and easily adapted to a variety of applications. It should be reproducible in one or two colours, in positive and reverse form, and in sizes as large as building signs and as small as, or smaller than, calling cards.’”

At the time the article was written, Paul Rand’s client presentations involved large, custom-made booklets of 20 to 40 pages, given to 25 to 100 top-ranking executives. “Characteristically, Rand avoids what he calls ‘sound, music and lights presentations.’ Believing that ‘graphic designers are really silent salesmen’, he thinks that trade marks should convince by their own impact and quality.”

Paul Rand client logo presentation
Atlas Crankshaft Corporation (1964) and International Business Machines Corporation (1956).
Paul Rand client logo presentation
Ford (1966). “Although the new mark wasn’t adopted, its presentation remains an impressive example of the genre.”

A PDF of the six-page piece can be downloaded from the resources of Seattle-based Rationale. The full magazine issue is available from Graphis.

Related, from the archives, are some photos of the 100-page NeXT presentation that Paul Rand created for Steve Jobs, and a short video of Rand introducing his work to the NeXT team.