Thursday, February 5, 2009

When Art Sparkles & Spins

Unquestionably, Paul Rand (1914-1996) was one of the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century. Among his most famous works are the corporate identities he created for ABC, IBM, UPS and Westinghouse.

But I am also fond of some of his lesser known design projects. Rand worked his graphic magic for young audiences on four children's books elegantly written by his wife, Ann Rand, an architect, and published between 1956 and 1970.

In Sparkle and Spin, his cut-and-paste style art leads the readers around a newspaper trifold hat, up a perch of letters to a bird spouting punctuation, across a chalkboard, past a strip of candy dots and a lollipop man eating a lollipop, under a mound of sand, near an elevated train, behind a chair, through a sampler of borders and fonts, across a breakfast table and onto the dial of a phone (circa 1957). Sparkle and Spin and Little 1 have been republished by Chronicle Books.

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