Design: Form and Chaos by Paul Rand

Overview   Process  

Task: to translate and publish a book.

In this witty and entertaining book Paul Rand talks about the state of contemporary design, exposes the lack of professionalism and transience of short-lived “fads,” and talks about the specifics of creative work and the kind of professional passion from which good design is born. The author illustrates his thesis through his own works, as well as works of artists and designers whose work he admires.

design form and chaos cover
Book in dust jacket

In addition, Rand examines topics considered relevant to most designers: the basis of aesthetic judgment, intuition vs. thinking in design creation, the relationship between the designer and the client, the role and place of market research, the use of computers, typography and principles of book design.


Design is more than just compilation and arrangement of visual materials. Design is the introduction of values and meanings, education, simplification, clarification, transformation, refinement, exaggeration, persuasion, and perhaps, even entertainment. Design turns prose into poetry. Design expands our perception, multiplies our experience and sharpens our “vision.” The design is the product of the senses and the mind, the product of an idea that emerged in the head of a designer, which (the designer hopes) will engage and captivate the viewer. Design, as we shall see, is also a tool for creating misconceptions. Deceitful design is often more convincing and effective than truthful design. Among its many guises—the lure and the temptation.»

From chapter “Form+content”

Release date: June 06 2013


art director
chief typesetter
technical designer
project manager

The value of experience that Paul Rand (1914–1996) brought to the world of modern graphic design is immense. His work in advertising and typography has influenced the whole industry of design—he practically single-handedly transformed the commercial graphic design, once considered a simple craft, to an art form.

Rand’s professional experience is extensive and diverse: advertising, package design, book illustration, typography, painting and teaching. Rand acted as a consultant and designer in projects by ABC, IBM and Westinghouse. He lectured at the Pratt Institute and Cooper Union College, he was awarded the title of honorary professor at Yale University. Rand received numerous awards, and his work is included in collections of American, European and Japanese museums.

244 pages
Number of copies: 3000
Format: 144×216 мм (5.7"×8.5")
ISBN 978-5-98062-076-9

The edition used in this translation: Paul Rand, Design Form and Chaos © Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1993

design form and chaos title
Title spread
design form and chaos 18 19
Pages 18–19
design form and chaos 56 57
Pages 56–57
design form and chaos 68 69
Pages 68–69
design form and chaos 222 223
Pages 222–223

The book also has an important chapter on the presentation of design work to the client, in which the author gives examples of his own logos made over the years.

design form and chaos 88 89
About the NEXT logo
design form and chaos 154 155
About the IBM logo

Order a design...