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Museum of the City of New York celebrates designer Paul Rand

An IBM design by Paul Rand.

An IBM design by Paul Rand. Photo Credit: Courtesy of IBM Corporate Archiv / Courtesy of IBM Corporate Archives

A Brooklyn graphic designer is getting his due.

Though not a household name, Paul Rand broke new ground in the world of advertising in the 20th century with his clean, modernist designs that included the iconic logos for IBM, ABC and Westinghouse, to name a few.

The Museum of the City of New York looks at the six-decade career of the late Brooklyn-born artist in the current exhibition "Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand."

Rand was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus German design school of the 1920s, and its philosophy "that everyday life should be properly designed, and that there should be a fusion of art and industry ... That the every day can be beautiful," curator Donald Albrecht said.

Of the unique change Rand brought to graphic design, Albrecht said that before Rand, graphics were "kind of disorganized," however the American designer's work is "modernist and then it's abstract, it's bold in its colors ... but then there's a sense of wit and humor."

Along with his advertising and commercial design, the exhibition surveys Rand's work in magazines and books, as well as his career as an educator -- he published educational books and taught design at Pratt Institute and Yale University, among others.

For visitors with little knowledge of graphic design, Albrecht said he'd like people to come away with an idea of "how carefully it's done, when it's done right.

"It's not just designing a logo, but it's explaining it and controlling it and changing it over time," Albrecht said.

If you go: “Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand” at The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., 212-534-1672, runs now through July 19. Admission is $14 adults, $10 seniors and students, ages 19 and under FREE. For more, visit

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