Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 21, 2000Volume 28, Number 17













Paul Rand Center to honor
celebrated graphic designer

To honor one of the world's leading graphic designers,Yale University will create The Paul Rand Center for Graphic Design at the School of Art when the school's new facility opens in 2000.

The center is named after former faculty member Paul Rand, a pioneering graphic designer whose corporate logos have become icons of American commerce, and it honors the $2 million contribution made toward the School of Art renovation project by his widow, Marion Rand.

"It would be difficult to find a more fitting way to commemorate the life work of Paul Rand and to honor his contributions over many years to the Yale School of Art," said President Richard C. Levin, in thanking Marion Rand. "We are proud to have his name associated with the splendid new facilities that will house the school as we make Yale's ambitious Arts Area Plan a reality. I want to thank Mrs. Rand for helping us to create a space for graphic design that will foster creativity and facilitate communication."

Paul Rand (1914-1996) was a longtime Yale faculty member and emeritus professor, who created the now-familiar corporate logos for United Parcel Service, IBM, ABC and Cummins Engine. Rand served as art director of several magazines and was a consultant to numerous advertising agencies and corporations. In 1987 he was the first recipient of the Florence Prize for Visual Communication. His work is in the permanent collections of museums in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

From 1956 until his retirement in 1985, Rand was a professor of graphic design at the School of Art, where generations of students were influenced by his modernist innovations and his rigorous teaching. He also taught in the Yale Summer Program in Graphic Design at Bresago, Switzerland, from 1977 to 1996.

The Rand Center will provide state-of-the-art space for the teaching of graphic design in the facility to be known as Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Hall, a building on Chapel Street in New Haven that was purchased by Yale to consolidate most of the facilities for the School of Art. Green Hall will include classrooms, studios, offices and critique and exhibition space for graphic design, painting, photography and printmaking, as well as a performance facility for the School of Drama.

Full-scale rebuilding of the new School of Art facility is part of the extensive Arts Area Plan undertaken by Yale in 1996 to upgrade its teaching, studio and practice facilities for the Schools of Architecture, Art and Drama; the Department of the History of Art; and undergraduate arts majors. The expansion of Yale's arts complex westward on Chapel Street -- including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, the Arts Library and the Digital Media Center for the Arts -- is also intended to have a positive impact on the University's urban setting in New Haven.

In designing the Paul Rand Center for Graphic Design within the complex, architect Deborah Berke, associate professor (adjunct) in the School of Architecture, is striving to enhance the teaching mission by focusing on a balance between private work in personal studio spaces and communal group discourse in a larger open area. The plan calls for the small studios to surround the central communal space. Another feature of the design is creating access between areas devoted to various arts disciplines to encourage dialogue and awareness. Signage for the Paul Rand Center will be designed by New Haven-based graphic designer Nathan Garland, a former student and friend of Professor Rand at the School of Art.

Marion Rand, who was an executive for many years at IBM managing the corporate design department, has also made a gift to Yale of a collection of volumes from her husband's extensive private library that will supplement the holdings of the Arts Library. She also contributed books central to the late Yale professor's work that will become part of the University's Arts of the Book Collection, housed in Sterling Memorial Library. In addition she has presented the Library with Rand's professional and personal papers to be housed in the Manuscripts and Archives Department in Sterling Memorial Library. (See related story.)

Deputy Provost for the Arts Diana E.E. Kleiner remarked that "Yale University and members of Yale's Arts Area are very grateful to Marion Rand for the extraordinary gift that will allow the creation of the Paul Rand Center for Graphic Design in the Yale School of Art. The majestic space will celebrate the remarkable work of one of Yale's most gifted and beloved teachers and inspire future students in graphic design whose own work will also be enhanced by the opportunity to consult the core of Mr. Rand's book collection, his original designs and material from his personal archives."

Creation of the Paul Rand Center for Graphic Design marks the second memorial to Rand at Yale, following the endowment of the Paul Rand Lectureship in the School of Art in 1997 through a gift from the Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana, a firm for which Rand was a consultant for decades. The inaugural lecture in the lecture series was presented in April 1999 by award-winning graphic designer Kyle Cooper.

School of Art Dean Richard Benson commented, "The school, particularly the Department of Graphic Design, is deeply grateful to Mrs. Rand for her generosity. We welcome this opportunity to honor the memory and the contributions of Paul Rand, who was one of the great artists and teachers in the history of the School of Art. Mrs. Rand has proved a devoted and far-sighted friend to the School through a range of contributions and gifts."


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