Friday, December 27, 2013

Paul Rand at MODA

One of the things I love most about the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is that every MODA exhibition expands my design horizons well beyond anything I could have dreamed. My knowledge on the subject matter of the exhibit-at-the-time, whether Italian motorcycles or the St. Louis Arch architect or a mind-blowing design challenge, grows exponentially.


Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
That I've met fellow enthusiasts and made a few friends along the way has been more than a wonderful bonus!

This unexpected trend continues with the current exhibition, Paul Rand: Defining Design. Had I considered who designed the IBM logo? No. Had I considered how much deliberate design went into creating the logo for UPS? No. Had I ever wondered about the history of the logo for ABC? No. Well, now I have, on all three counts!


Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Rand was rather prolific in his logo designs in the 1950s and 1960s...in fact, if you're reading this, you've seen his work. On this planet, you'd have to live inexplicably remotely from civilization to have not seen his work. 


Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
A purposeful artist, Rand was also quite the accomplished writer, having published four books (now all out of print) and countless articles on the connection between design and art. His first book was published the year my mother was born, 1947, so he'd been on the design scene for quite some time.

Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
When you see Rand's work, you'll definitely see the artists who inspired him, some of which included Picasso, Miro, Klee, and Calder.

So, I find it a pleasant coincidence that while Paul Rand: Defining Design is installed at MODA the announcement that Three Up, Three Down, the massive mobile by Alexander Calder across the street on the lawn at the High Museum of Art for decades, will be uninstalled next month.

Of course the two aren't linked, I just found it an interesting coincidence.

Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
The more I explore Defining Design, the more I find myself fascinated with Rand's work. His ideas of the necessity for design and art to be connected are so spot on! Rand also understood the role of humor in the world of design, and it comes through in his work.

I just like things that are playful;
I like things that are happy;
I like things that will make the client smile...


Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
I absolutely adore what MODA does with their main corridor...with every exhibition. This one being no exception. On one side is a heavily populated and wonderfully interesting timeline, relative to the exhibition, and the other side is basically Rand discussing quite famous works of art and their connection to design.

Some museums might not take on the challenge of utilizing what could prove to be a bothersome space, but not MODA. They consistently use this space in a manner that showcases their brilliance and positively contributes to the exhibition at the time.


Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
There's lots of programming going on with this exhibition—no surprise there, this is MODA, after all. 

In keeping with Rand's ideas on the role of humor in design, the closing party on Saturday, January 25, 2014, is to be a "come-as-your-favorite-font" party! How much fun is that?! What's your favorite font?


Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand, Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Paul Rand: Defining Design closes on Sunday, January 26, so you have only a month to see this brilliant exhibition. I know a month sounds like a long time, but it's really not, and you know what happens to people who procrastinate...they miss out! 

So, if you're making "Expand my cultural horizon" one of your New Year's Resolutions, I recommend the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) as an excellent choice and a great way to do so.

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