Rand, Paul: A DESIGN STUDENT’S GUIDE TO THE 1939 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR. New York: Laboratory School of Industrial Design with The Composing Room/P.M. Publishing Co., [1939].

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Paul Rand and John McAndrew [introduction]

Paul Rand and John McAndrew [introduction]: A DESIGN STUDENT'S GUIDE TO THE 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. New York: Laboratory School of Industrial Design with The Composing Room/P.M. Publishing Co., [1939]. Original edition [price 50 cents]. Slim 12mo. Saddle-stitched printed self wrappers. 36 pp. Text and illustrations. Cover design and typography by Paul Rand. Matte wrappers slightly etched along spine edge, otherwise a fine copy. Rare as a stand-alone edition.

5.5 x 7.75 booklet with 36 pages devoted to modern design as found at the 1939 New York World's Fair. John McAndrew replaced Philip Johnson as the head of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art and explained his criteria for inclusion in the Guide: "An honest modern design will be shaped by the exigencies of function and material, and by the formal invention of the designer. It will be free of mannerisms."

"The Laboratory School of Industrial Design, established in 1936, was the first school in the United States to devote its entire curriculum to training for the various fields of so-called industrial design -- namely, product, textile, interior, advertising and display design. Every instructor on the staff must be actively engaged in his profession while teaching at the school."

The cover of this insert is widely recognized as one of the iconic images of 20th-century American Graphic Design, as has been reproduced countless times in design histories/anthologies. A classic piece of original ephemera from the most influential graphic designer of all time.

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). In 1951, 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. Paul Rand's book, Thoughts on Design, with reproductions of almost one hundred of his designs and some of the best words yet written on graphic design, had been published four years earlier√£a publishing event that cemented his international reputation and identified him as a designer of influence from Zurich to Tokyo.

The chronology of Paul 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 Paul 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.

Paul 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 of his 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 that for him 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. This was the same year in which he received the gold medal from the Art Directors Club for his Morse Code advertisement addressed to David Sarnoff of RCA.