Laura Sherman Paper 4

“I haven’t changed my mind about modernism from the first day I ever did it…. It means integrity; it means honesty; it means the absence of sentimentality and the absence of nostalgia; it means simplicity; it means clarity. That’s what modernism means to me… (Paul Rand, LDL Article). Many would agree with Rand’s statement. He was not the first person to capitalize on keeping it simple, and he won’t be the last. Paul Rand was the man who designed the IBM, ABC, UPS, and many more. His logos were successful for those companies because they were simple and strait forward, as Rand intended.

Keeping Rand’s opinion of modernism in mind, one would think that postmodernism would be just the opposite. In some ways yes, but when dealing with logo design, one must still keep in mind that less is more, just so the point can get across easily and more affectively. Taking a closer look at Graham Smith’s logo designs, yes they are simple but there is an element of color added. Analogous and monochromatic colors were introduced to the design world of logos, as apposed to just one color or just black and white. Also, the full name of the company, and sometimes even the slogan was introduced to the whole aspect of the logo design. Now, each one of these approaches to designing a logo is not better then the other. It is of course the style, and what will catch the eyes of the audience of the time period.

Paul Rand also pointed out that the job of a logo is to give a company its identity. When we take a close look at his well-known IBM and ABC logos yes they are iconic, but that is all they are, they do not explain what the company does. Graham Smith’s logos on the other hand, a few of them have the company’s slogan incorporated into the design. The job of the slogan is to explain what a company does or what they stand for.  Again, neither Rand nor Smith is right or wrong, it is simply just the differences between the way logos were designed in the modernism era and in the postmodernism era.

Graham Smith is the creator or the well-known GAP logo. Which looks very similar to Paul Rand’s ABC logo. The GAP logo is a very simple design with one blue square and white knock out letters that spell out the word “GAP.” Very similar to the simple ABC logo that has white lettering inside of a black circle.  This is how the modern era can influence the designers of the postmodern era. There are many other examples of how Graham Smith was influenced by the modern era, but the GAP logo stood out the most.

From modernism to postmodernism, it is easy to see the differences between the many logo designs, but what does stand out that is similar in style, is how simple the logo designs are. Yes the logos from the postmodern era have more color or illustrate the whole name of the company, they are still simple to get the identity of the company out there with out any problem, much like how the designers of the modern era would make there logos simple. Simplicity is affective and does not change throughout the generations.


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