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NeXT logo presentation, by Paul Rand, for Steve Jobs | Logo Design Love

2008–2020 Logo Design
the Print Magazine
the Partners, Pentagram
e.g. Design
this site!Second Post
Robery Brownjohn
Rand I
the Motorola Identity
Morton Studied
the New School of Bauhaus
the Imperial War Museum
Studio Seireeni Inc.
Design Matters

Steve Jobs
Paul Rand

Jonathon Baxter
a Paul Rand
Alan Fletcher
Ray Harryhausen
Brian Tattersfield
Robert Brownjohn
Bob Gill
Ivan Chermayeff
Tom Geismar
John McConnell
Tom Geismar David
Minale Tattersfield
Paul Rand’s
Morton Goldsholl
Kimberly Clark
Laszlo Moholy Nagy
Gyorgy Kepes
Walter Gropius
Robert Indiana’s
Colin Forbes
Marcello Minale
clients!I ~ 2 minutes
Rob Janoff
Debbie Millman
Philip MachanickI
ComplicatedPaul Rand
David Airey



London Tube Stations

Redwood City
British Airports


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2008–2020 Logo Design LoveIn 1986, Steve Jobs paid renowned graphic designer Paul Rand $100,000 to create a visual identity for his computer company. The company developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations intended for the higher education and business markets.As was a common part of the Paul Rand design process, a presentation book was produced in order to help persuade the client that the proposed idea was the right direction.“Ideally, a logo should explain or suggest the business it symbolizes, but this is rarely possible or even necessary. The mnemonic factors in both logos are graphic devices: stripes and circles.“In this example the e is the mnemonic factor.”A few legible scans from the book are hosted on the Print Magazine website.When Paul Rand arrived to introduce the NeXT logo idea to the company team, it’s clear how excited Jobs was about the result.When Jobs was asked what it was like to work with Rand, he said, “I asked him if he would come up with a few options, and he said, ‘No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. It’s like comparing the first aeroplane with a stealth fighter and saying “well that’s a bit crap.” It has taken a developmental process of many generations and designers, and Rand’s logo was one of the earlier ‘bricks in the wall’ that newer logos stand upon.As a designer, and having been in the business for 47 years, (Yikes! I’m always willing to learn about new ways to make my work start out and shout above the rest.Considering how well recognized the NeXT logo is in the industry even though it was a minor company with barely any market, the logo is as remarkable as their products were (and still are, in Apple’s current software stack).I don’t think the original Apple logo would fly today either, it’s kinda clunky. I really like Paul Rand but sometimes designers do get things wrong.Hi Gary, interesting link, and it’s a shame those pics are no longer available. Thanks a lot, though.Alex, it’s not a remarkable logo compared to his iconic designs, but isn’t it fascinating how those at the top of their game can command the price and respect given by Jobs?I’m also with Alex on this one. I appreciate Steve Jobs’ opinions (the man definitely knows style and what makes for good design) but I think he had to justify being swindled on this one, a bit of “the emporer’s new clothes” in my humble opinion.First of all to whom say Rand’s work doesn’t stand to the test of time are simply revealing their imprudence.If any of you have ever taken a PEEK at any of Paul Rand’s books, (e.g. Design, Form, and Chaos, where the NeXT brochure is replicated in) then you will understand that this is an ingenious design, and innovative for its time. Although, ABC is mostly in tact besides of button-like supplement to the identity.To stand the test of time merely depends on the principles of design (e.g. contrast, unity, balance, scale, texture, etc.).Judging stricly on the principles of design, Paul Rand’s work stands the test of time. “if NeXT were branded today, do you think this logo had a slightest chance of being accepted?”Yes, because Steve Jobs understands GOOD DESIGN!Yes, you could argue Apple uses the three-dimensional identity, but it seems from research that they use that strictly for online purposes. Perhaps it was not dated looking when it came out, but it sure has not help up like Rand’s other classic logos.It’s true, though, that logomarks have shelf life no matter how great of a designer you are. I’ve only seen a very small amount of work that was designed by Robert Brownjohn.You’re foruntunate to see/hear Paul Rand lecture; makes me wish I was born earlier to be able to possibly chat and meet him.I undertand you have your own opinion; I was sharing and backing up my own as well.I doubt you’ll be able to find much information on Morton Goldsholl online.Look for his book “Inside Design: A review of 40 years of work.” I’m not sure where you’re located, but if you’re interested in purchasing check under this site: of his most well known work is the Motorola Identity and various work for Kimberly Clark. It is the sparing use of brilliant colors on a predominantly black ground that produces this effect, like stars in the sky.”Paul was inspired greatly by children (as he has alluded to in his books) and by Robert Indiana’s LO VE as he mentions in the brochure.So, in essence the identity was designed for a youthful audience and suceeds greatly in doing so.Josh,thank you for quoting Rand and shedding the light on his choices concerning composition, color choice and personal inspiration…However, I find myself even more convinced about myself not liking this logo.It might have been designed for a youthful audience but I have to ask: is it still succeeding “in doing so”?I am no graphic guru nor am I “judging” Rand’s creativity, I am just saying that this identity wasn’t designed to last.And I insist again that the color combination that was meant to strike the eye and attract the “youthful audience”, strikes the eye indeed and causes near blindness to me, a sample of “the youthful audience”.Check a logo created for Computer Impressions in ’95… same problem there, it’s even more “unconventional” than NeXT yet, sadly, I find it hideous.In a nutshell: They designed the Harrods logo and a lot of their packaging, iconic posters for British Airports, London Tube Stations, Armarni logo, various identities for museums such as the Imperial War Museum in London.I’ve been fortunate to see lot of designers speak thanks to D&AD.Paul Rand told Steve Jobs what we all want to say to our clients, but never have the balls to do so. anyone got a 100grand they want to pay me for a logo design?Love Paul’s stance on options, at the end of the day graphic designers are the experts as they are doing design 24/7 however trying telling that to your clients!I am a great admirer of Steve Jobs and Paul Rand, but Steve misspoke when he said that Rand was the only designer approached to design the NeXT logo. Not sure if Paul was serving his client’s best interest there.Here are some scans if anyone is interested. really like the logo design and how he talked about incorporating the e in the logo to bring out a recognition. First off, I love these names (or rather trove of references) — Bob Gill (I highly recommend you listen to his interview with Debbie Millman on Design Matters), Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes, Brian Tattersfield, Robert Brownjohn, Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar and John McConnell — mentioned by Lee.But, more importantly, this quote below makes an interesting statement about the “mystery” behind why some logos become famous while others simply don’t:“It’s the combined quality of instant recognition and growing familiarity over time that makes a great logo.” — Philip MachanickI agree with Philip on this true observation, just to some extent, though; especially, with the number of logos being created by logo design experts almost every day, one cannot help it but strive hard for the former (which is the quality of INSTANT RECOGNITION).This may sound somehow “insane” or too much a challenge for many people but the truth is, logos received their reviews and GROWING FAMILIARITY in just a day (that is, the day a logo first appeared on social media platforms, especially Twitter). Paul Rand just didn’t deliver a logo and say, “That’s it, pay me.” No. He prepared an entire booklet/style guide that explained why and what he created for NEXT. That’s a lot of money, so of course a lot of research can be done.The logo sucked, and I think deep down inside, Jobs didn’t like it either but he used it becuase of the built up anticipation, time, money invested, and the notorioty of the designer.

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