PAUL RAND -- MOHAWK GRAPHICS COLLECTION
Paul Rand: PAUL RAND -- MOHAWK GRAPHICS COLLECTION. Cohoes: Mohawk Papers Mills, 1988. First edition. Folio. Publishers mailing envelope. Embossed and printed open end envelope housing production notes, printed index and 18 individual lithographed prints. Each print measures 11" w x 16" h. A fine example with a couple of lights spots to the versos of a couple of the plates in original grey paper open end envelope and mailing envelope, as issued.
 11"w x 16"h lithographed prints housed in an embossed open end envelope with index, production notes and Publishers mailing envelope. Issued by the Mohawk Papers Mills as a paper promotion to showcase various Mohawk papers and their performance under rather rigorous press and proofing conditions.
Production techniques include 150 line-screen separations from flat art, original paintings and 35 mm slides. Back of pages 1 thru 18 were lithographed with PMS 402 flat gray ink. Process inks were fluorescent yellow and magenta, process cyan and flat black. Finishing includes hot embossing and gold foil stamping.
Quoting Rand's production instructions at length: "Standard color separations will not give good results on uncoated paper. Highlights need to be reduced by about 5% and shadow dots should be no greater than 85%.
"Press proofs are the only way a printer can really tell what the color separation is going to look like. Chromalin and Matchprint proofs should not be used. They appear too sharp and colors look too bright.
"Once a color approval has been given on press, the pressman should increase his ink density from 5 to 7 points on the densitometer to allow for dry back to the ok'd wet color that was approved." Dont't try this at home.
Print 1: Illustration, Harcourt Brace . Poster, IBM Gallery . Lithographed five flat colors on White Superfine Text, 65 lb. Regular Finish.
Print 2: Sweet Dreams, photograph . Lithographed in four-color process, Magenta required dot etching to strengthen color. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 3: Gate sign, photograph, Meudon, France . Lithographed in four-color process. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. Regular Finish.
Print 4: Trademark, NeXT, Inc. . Lithographed five flat colors on White Superfine Cover, 65 lb. Regular Finish.
Print 5: Snowbirds, photograph . Lithographed in four-color process, produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 6: Poster, GHP Cigar Co. . Lithographed five flat colors on White Superfine Cover, 65 lb. Regular Finish. After lithography, hot embossed and gold foil stamped using a multi-level die. Yellow was lithographed under gold foil areas to enhance gold and red on label was hit twice for density.
Print 7: Stone Walls, photograph, Rand House . Lithographed in four-color process. Shadows required extensive dot etching to keep open. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 8: Hieroglyphs, photograph, Luxor, Egypt . Lithographed in one color -- black on Softwhite Superfine Cover, 65 lb. Regular Finish.
Print 9: Collage . Lithographed with yellow, black and PMS 402 flat gray on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 10: Poster, IBM Corporation . Lithographed in four-color process. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. Regular Finish.
Print 11: Donkey, oil on canvas . Lithographed in four-color process. A second impression of yellow and magenta was used to strengthen colors. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 12: Feeding the birds, photograph . Lithographed in four-color process. Magenta and black dot etched to brighten red in scarf and increase detail. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 13: Interior, photograph, Haitian camionette . Lithographed in four-color process. Yellow and magenta dot etched to brighten color. Produced on White Superfine Text, 100 lb. Smooth Finish.
Print 14: Poster, Aspen Design Conference . Lithographed with black and two impressions of red for brightness on Softwhite Superfine Cover, 65 lb. Regular.
Print 15: Eggplant, watercolor . Lithographed in four-color process. Dot etched yellow to increase brightness. Produced on White Superfine Cover, 80 lb. High Finish.
Print 16: "Y" Chart, Yale University . Lithographed with green, PMS 402 flat gray and two impressions of black for density on Softwhite Superfine Cover, 65 lb. Regular Finish.
Print 17: Editing "A Designer's Art," photograph . Lithographed in four-color process. Yellow, magenta and black were dot etched to brighten colors. Produced on White Superfine Text, 100 lb. Smooth Finish.
Print 18: "My Opia," photograph . Lithographed with black and PMS 402 flat gray on Superfine Bristol, 120 lb. Regular Finish.
If the word legend has any meaning in the graphic arts and if the term legendary can be applied with accuracy to the career of any designer, it can certainly be applied to Paul Rand (1914-1996). By 1947, the legend was already firmly in place. By then Paul had completed his first career as a designer of media promotion at Esquire-Coronet --and as an outstanding cover designer for Apparel Arts and Directions. He was well along on a second career as an advertising designer at the William Weintraub agency which he had joined as art director at its founding. THOUGHTS ON DESIGN (with reproductions of almost one hundred of his designs and some of the best words yet written on graphic design) had just published -- an event that cemented his international reputation and identified him as a designer of influence from Zurich to Tokyo.
A chronology of Rand's design experience has paralleled the development of the modern design movement. Paul Rand’s first career in media promotion and cover design ran from 1937 to 1941, his second career in advertising design ran from 1941 to 1954, and his third career in corporate identification began in 1954. Paralleling these three careers there has been a consuming interest in design education and Paul Rand's fourth career as an educator started at Cooper Union in 1942. He taught at Pratt Institute in 1946 and in 1956 he accepted a post at Yale University's graduate school of design where he held the title of Professor of Graphic Design.
In 1937 Rand launched his first career at Esquire. Although he was only occasionally involved in the editorial layout of that magazine, he designed material on its behalf and turned out a spectacular series of covers for Apparel Arts, a quarterly published in conjunction with Esquire. In spite of a schedule that paid no heed to regular working hours or minimum wage scales, he managed in these crucial years to find time to design an impressive array of covers for other magazines, particularly Directions. From 1938 on his work was a regular feature of the exhibitions of the Art Directors Club.
Most contemporary designers are aware of Paul Rand's successful and compelling contributions to advertising design. What is not well known is the significant role he played in setting the pattern for future approaches to the advertising concept. Rand was probably the first of a long and distinguished line of art directors to work with and appreciate the unique talent of William Bernbach. Rand described his first meeting with Bernbach as "akin to Columbus discovering America," and went on to say, "This was my first encounter with a copywriter who understood visual ideas and who didn't come in with a yellow copy pad and a preconceived notion of what the layout should look like."
Rand spent fourteen years in advertising where he demonstrated the importance of the art director in advertising and helped break the isolation that once surrounded the art department. The final thought from THOUGHTS ON DESIGN is worth repeating: "Even if it is true that commonplace advertising and exhibitions of bad taste are indicative of the mental capacity of the man in the street, the opposing argument is equally valid. Bromidic advertising catering to that bad taste merely perpetuates that mediocrity and denies him one of the most easily accessible means of aesthetic development."
In 1954 when Paul Rand decided Madison Avenue was no longer a two-way street and he resigned from the Weintraub agency, he was cited as one of the ten best art directors by the Museum of Modern Art. The rest is design history.
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a pioneer typographer, photographer, and designer of the modern movement and a master at the Bauhaus in Weimar, may have come closest to defining the Rand style when he said Paul was "an idealist and a realist using the language of the poet and the businessman. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems, but his fantasy is boundless."
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