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5 Logo Design Quotes from Paul Rand

Paul RandEach Monday we post a few inspiring quotes from a noted entrepreneur or one-time small business owner (see these great startup quotes for example). This week we depart from that habit just a bit by sharing a few quotes from noted logo designer Paul Rand, who owned and ran his own design studio and taught design at Yale University. Rand is perhaps the best known logo designer of all time, having created iconic designs for ABC, UPS, and IBM. Not all of his clients were known by three letters, his other famous (or infamous) logos include Enron, Westinghouse, Cummins, NEXT Computers, and Morningstar.

Rand was not only a great designer, but also an excellent salesman who worked tirelessly to convince business owners that design is an important business tool. His designs are sometimes criticized as simplistic, but Rand answered his critics saying, “ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting.”

Here are a few other things Paul Rand said over the years that small business owners would be smart to keep in mind when they design their own logos:

“A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.”

“It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. It derives its meaning and usefulness from the quality of that which it symbolizes.”

“A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important that what it looks like.”

“Don’t try to be original. Try to be good.”

“You will learn most things by looking, but reading gives understanding. Reading will make you free.”

—Paul Rand, Graphic Designer