Books That Inspire 2005

Thoughts on Design
Paul Rand

Thoughts on Design by Paul Rand is a book that set the tone and direction of graphic design in the post World War II era. It introduced me to the world of Rand’s extra-ordinary ideas about art, design and their relationship to society. It has inspired me to rethink my ideas about the way symbols, humor and art function in design. Ultimately he showed me that design which is well-made can be elevated beyond its prosaic message. All thoughtful, serious graphic designers will have a copy of this book in their library.

I also found him the most creative, challenging, charming and intimidating person I have ever worked with.

Graphic designers are not a subtle lot. The great designer George Lois, speaking of Rand, puts it simply: “Every art director and graphic designer in the world should kiss his ass.” Here’s a smooch from me, Paul.
Eric Anderson
Associate Professor of Art
Visual Communications