Lester Beall and Paul Rand, both pioneers of American design, were influenced greatly by European modernism. They created identity systems for large companies such as IBM, and did a lot of magazine spreads and ads.

Beall's Scope Magazine cover design

Lester Beall used flat, grid-like designs to create ads depicting everyday activities. He applied color in only specific spots to create energy. Although influenced by European design, his work divided American design slightly from European design, with the former being more intuitive and expressive.

Paul Rand, considered the “father of American design,” created stripped-down, yet expressive work. He created the corporate identity system for IBM which has been used since the 1960s. He’s been involved in book design, advertising, corporate identity, and children’s book design. In his book Thoughts on Design, he laid out what designers can do for society and for business. He often used stripped backgrounds, textures, flat colors, quirky shapes, and clear structures.

Rand's children's book illustration

Rand's logos


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: