Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand

If you go see only one exhibition this year, it should be “Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand” at the Museum of the City of New York. Even if you had never heard his name before, you have seen his work. Paul Rand is a Brooklyn-born graphic designer who designed the logos for ABC, UPS, Westinghouse, among others. He is most famously known for his branding and identity work for IBM. Rand has been called “the Picasso of graphic design.”


The exhibition focuses on Rand’s life and work, divided into “Early Life and Career,” “Transforming Madison Avenue,” “Books and Publications,” “Creating Corporate America,” and “Writing and Teaching.”


One of my favorite parts of the exhibition is a small TV screen outside of the main exhibition room, which shows a four-minute video of Rand talking about his design philosophies interposed with images. The other thing I loved is how Rand’s quotes are integrated into the exhibition, displayed on the sides of the vitrines. Some of my favorite quotes are:

“Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.”

“Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.”

“Without play, there would be no Picasso.”





If you are in the world of graphic design, you cannot miss this exhibition. Paul Rand transformed the world of advertising and changed the graphic design culture of New York City. And as Rand would say:

“Everything is design. Everything!”

The exhibition is up until September 7, 2015. For more information on the exhibition, visit: http://www.mcny.org/exhibition/everything-design


Published by


graphic designer in the making

One thought on “Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand”

  1. Great post, Mary. Glad you made it up there and thank you for sharing your experience. It’s such an important body of work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s