"Ultimately, the only mandate in the design of logos, it seems, is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear."
With a portfolio that includes logos for ABC (America), UPS, NeXT, IBM and Westinghouse, Paul Rand has been described as "the greatest living graphic designer".
Rand used a variety of techniques such as painting, collage, photography, typography and montage. This combination of elements produced a distinctive and modern visual image.
In his book, Design, Form and Chaos, 1993, Rand shared "some thoughts and despair about the design of a logo".
"A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.
A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like."
Rand explains that the quality of logo is tied to the quality of the company it represents.
"If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned."
"Surprising to many, the subjectmatter of a logo is of relatively little importance, and even appropriateness of content does not always play a significant role."