Mary Rose Cook's notebook

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Paul Rand, Thoughts on Design


A book about graphic design and the design of advertisements.


Some of the things Rand says are uninteresting because they are now so embedded in our culture that they seem obvious.


He describes the abstract shapes in his work as a way to suggest plastic (suggestive, interpretative, symbolic) ideas. But the form of his “abstract” shapes look dated. What he thought of as pure form was, in fact, a fashion.


Most of the ads that feature in the book appear without comment. This is a shame, because having him talk us through them would have been concrete and probably interesting.


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