big blue

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 din size.)
when I was kid, ibm meant the ‘international brotherhood of magicians.’ (i spent most saturday mornings at myers magic shop.) 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.

ibm_chairman

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.

ibm_2

ibm_letterhead3

ibm_letterhead specs

ibm_quality073

ibm084

ibm_small060



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  1. Awesome. Love the one with blueprinty marks, and “sign with the I stroke”

    Thank you for this.

    Comment by Ben — 22/12/2009 LINK TO THIS COMMENT


  2. The Data Processing Application cover is a gem. Goes to show what a designer with talent can do without Adobe, stock photos and a huge library of fonts.

    Comment by Erik Wallace — 22/12/2009 LINK TO THIS COMMENT


  3. [...] The above paragraph was published in 1964, at the peak of the modernist crusade. The same decade Neuburg introduced his contructivist, functionally minded Neue Grafik at ICOGRADA in Zurich, and Paul Rand was working for IBM. [...]

    Pingback by The future is flexible | idiologie.com — 20/02/2010 LINK TO THIS COMMENT

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