“I came here to learn how to design, not how to use a computer.” A quote from a student brought to the light by Paul Rand when discussing bringing computers into design schools. Like Milton Glaser, Rand isn’t opposed to designers using computers, he just believes, as I do, that designers shouldn’t rely on computers as much as they do. Both Rand and Glaser said something along the lines of “a designer shouldn’t be able to design solely on a computer until they’ve established their creative process and have an excellent understanding of design”. In 1938, Paul Rand designed a successful logo for Wallace Puppets entirely without a computer, and it is wonderful.
I really enjoy this logo because the presence of the human hand is so apparent.( Literally haha) The logo is so expressive and organic, but not without structure. Conceptually, the design is very strong. Being able to tell a story using just line like Rand has done, without being too overly detailed is really difficult. So much about this design is appropriate to the client. Incorporating the hand is a tricky thing to do sometimes, but Rand has pulled it off. Without it, the design wouldn’t be as successful because it plays a key component in the story. Also, using a line of the same width throughout mimics a puppet string, and of course having the hand hold the string containing the logo brings in the final part of the Wallace Puppets story: the actual puppet show. Rand has also used the line to bring together the top and bottom of the composition, creating synergy between them.
This is basically a contour drawing of an image and type interacting with one another. But that isn’t the only reason that the movement in this piece is so successful. Rand has balanced it so nicely that it all flows together to tell its story. Leaving the wrist lines opened on the hand drawing allows for a point of entry into the design, moving down the contour of the hand, passing through the nice interaction with the shapes of the nails, then down the string to the hand-rendered type. I really enjoy the way that Rand drew the hand with the ring and pinky finger jutting out; it provides a sense of closure within the design.
Nothing about this design bothers me. I love the face that this beautiful logo was created sans-computer, and also without color. Although this design is essentially one line, I don’t view it as being minimalistic. Probably because there is so much movement and the words almost look like their dancing or acting likes the puppets that the hand is controlling. No single letter is the same and this really creates interest because each has a personality of their own, working together to form a beautiful, successful, hand-rendered logo.