John Maeda on Paul Rand

John Maeda is a RISD person and an MIT person. He's written an homage to Paul Rand which is poignant and important. Paul Rand was a Brooklyn, Parsons and Yale person. He was a graphic designer - IBM, Westinghouse, NeXT, the old UPS logo that designers defended vociferously in print when the company tossed it out. Rand wrote and illustrated Sparkle and Spin with his wife, Ann, a delicious book about words for children that I have adored since it was bought for me for $2.95 when it was published.

John has reprinted an essay that Rand wrote but never published. He tries to use the language to squeeze a lot of thoughts in, so it reads slowly. "Art is primarily a question of for, not content," is almost shocking for those of us who studied art with a heavy dose of Marxist theory thrown in.  So his pervasive interest in words and language ties in with his thinking about art - words matter. Vocabulary is often the key to understanding a new subject. For me, too, when I use my right brain I have trouble hunting for language to talk about what I am doing.

Maeda is also interested in language. His teeny Mispeller application:

Paul Rand inscription to John Maeda from his post.

Paul Rand inscription to John Maeda from his post.

My copy of Sparkle and Spin open to tintinnabulate.