Cummins Engine Funds Lectureship in Memory of Paul Rand

The Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana, has donated funds to Yale University in support of a Paul Rand Lectureship in the School of Art. The lectureship will bring to campus an eminent practitioner in the field of design who will deliver a public address that will foster greater understanding of the role of design in the visual arts.

“This gift will memorialize a great artist, designer, and teacher, and it will inspire future generations of designers to display in their work the commitment to quality and vision that Paul Rand manifested in his own,” says Yale University President Richard C. Levin. “We are grateful to the Cummins Engine Company for their generous support.”

“As Cummins’ design consultant for 35 years, Paul Rand developed a strong, memorable identity for our company through the logo, annual report, and other images,” says James A. Henderson, chairman and chief executive officer of Cummins Engine Co., Inc. “The Paul Rand Lectureship at Yale University, with whom Paul and Cummins have had close relationships, is an opportunity for us to share his legacy with the design community.”

Yale Art School Dean Richard Benson notes, “Major corporations present themselves to the world through Paul Rand’s extraordinary work; his riveting and irresistibly memorable logos stick in our mind’s eye like no others. It is easy to forget that Paul Rand has also left as telling a mark in the minds of the many designers who were lucky enough to be his students. We are so pleased that these two sides of his complex life come together in the creation, by the Cummins Engine Company, of the Paul Rand Lectureship at the Yale University School of Art.”

Mr. Rand, 1914-1996, was one the world’s leading graphic designers and a longtime Yale faculty member. His corporate logos for United Parcel Service, IBM, ABC, and Cummins Engine are familiar icons of American commerce. His design for Cummins in 1973 combines the company name and monogram into a single dramatic element that, in Mr. Rand’s words, “suggests speed and power.” In his last book, “From Lascaux to Brooklyn”, Yale University Press, 1996, he wrote, “The design of a logo is largely the process of intuition, trial and error, skill, and good fortune. The ideal logo is simple, elegant, economical, flexible, practical, and unforgettable.”

Mr. Rand served as art director for several magazines and was a consultant for numerous advertising agencies. In 1987 he was the first recipient of the Florence Prize for Visual Communication. His work is in the permanent collections of museums in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Professor Rand taught at Yale from 1956 until his retirement in 1991. Among his other books are “Thoughts on Design”, 1946; “Design and the Play Instinct”, 1965; “Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art”, Yale University Press, 1985; and “Design, Form, and Chaos”, Yale University Press, 1993.

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