Paul Rand’s WIP

      Apr 2, 2010 / 3 Brilliant Comments

IBM logo by Paul Rand

IBM logo design by Paul Rand.

IBM‘s present day logo was designed by Paul Rand in 1972. Wrapping up one of the most iconic identity designs of all time time (by association?). But the beginnings of the lettermark were quite different. First designed in 1956 by Paul Rand, the IBM logo used a retooled version of the City Medium fontface, a 1930 design by Georg Tromp.

16 years later, 1972 and Rand is given the opportunity to redesign the IBM logo again (1967). Normally, when Paul Rand redesigned a logo, he liked to keep some part of the old logo. Maintaining some of it’s essence, but the 1972 redesign uses the same font (on a lettermark logo). Which made me think, The IBM redesign is not a redesign at all, but the final version of Rand’s initial logo design of 1956. A work in progress that lasted 16 years and finally reached it’s final version in 1972. Rand was not satisfied with the first result, saying in an interview that he ” just didn’t like it, there was something wrong with it,” which led him to create the iconic mark we see today.

1956 IBM logo design Paul Rand

Original IBM logo design by Paul Rand in 1956.

This makes me wonder, did Paul Rand contemplate over the IBM logo for that long? Or did he think about minor changes he could make from time-to-time?

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