Peretz Rosenbaum was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1914. At a very young age he started painting signs for his father’s grocery store as well as for school events. Rand’s father did not believe art could provide his son with a sufficient livelihood, and so he required Paul to attend Manhattan’s Harren High School while taking night classes at the Pratt Institute, though neither of these schools offered Rand much stimulation. Despite studying at Pratt, Parsons and the art students league. Rand was by-and-large “self-taught as a designer.
As Orthodox Jewish law forbids the creation of graven images that can be worshiped as idols, Rand’s career creating icons of global capitalism seemed unlikely. He decided to camouflage his overtly Jewish identity shortening his forename to ‘Paul’ and taking ‘Rand’ from an uncle to form his new surname. . So he became Paul Rand. Creating a nice symbol and a brand name for his many accomplishments.
From 1936 to 1941, Paul Rand was art director of "Esquire" and "Apparel Arts" magazines while from 1938-1945 he also designed the acclaimed covers of "Direction" magazine. From 1941 until 1954 Paul Rand was art director of the William H. Weintraub advertizing agency in New York. And from 1956 Paul Rand freelanced as a graphic designer and consultant for Westinghouse and IBM.