i have always loved corporate identity. now they call it branding. when i started out, i was the letterhead guy. someone designed the logo and it was given to me and i applied it to everything: letterhead, business card, envelope, brochure, signage. that was my job and i loved it. still do. however it has been a couple of years since i designed a letterhead. that rectangle never bores me. (though i prefer the a4.)
when i was kid, ibm meant the ‘international brotherhood of magicians.’ (i spent most saturday mornings at myers magic shop in downtown birmingham.) but i quickly learned it also stood for something else since my uncle worked for big blue. i collected coins, hot wheels and broken bones (mine). it was not until years later that i discovered my passion for ephemera. while studying graphic design at indiana university, i applied to a design program that was run through kent state (later through yale) in brissago, switzerland. the program’s highlight was to study with armin hoffman and paul rand. i was ready to go but the cost was prohibitive. having become interested in design, i switched from studying art history and had enrolled in a couple of graphic design courses. happily, one of my classmates was the first runner-up for miss usa. a tri-delt that didn’t know i was alive. it was in this class we were given names of individual designers to research. i was given bradbury thompson. i believe this assignment led to my interest in collecting design ephemera. this collection of ibm materials designed by paul rand was bought mostly on ebay. my favorite piece of course is the letterhead for the chairman. international business machines corporation is set in script. the contrast is rich and unexpected. i just love it. i miss you, mr. rand.