Logo Design Love

on logos and brand identity design

NeXT logo presentation

NeXT logo book

In 1986, Steve Jobs hired Paul Rand to design a logo for his NeXT educational computer company. Like Antonio, I don’t love the design, but we can learn a lot from the way in which Rand presented his idea to Jobs.

“The only thing Rand knew was that the mysterious NeXT computer was a black cube. With this scant yet meaningful intelligence, Rand developed a unique proposal book for the mark that walked the reader — Mr Jobs — through the step-by-step conceptual process to the final, logical outcome.”

Quoting Steven Heller who shared scans from Rand’s NeXT logo book.

NeXT logo book

NeXT logo book

NeXT logo book

NeXT logo book

More scans here on imprint, and you can see higher quality photos of the NeXT book by scrolling to the “presentation” section on this page of paul-rand.com.

Steve Jobs was interviewed about working with Paul Rand, and said:

“I asked him if he would come up with a few options, and he said, ‘No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.'”

Here are a few Paul Rand YouTube videos elsewhere on Logo Design Love:

Paul Rand interview
A conversation with Paul Rand
Don’t try to be original. Just try to be good.

Hat-tip @BlairThomson.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

12 appreciated comments

  1. Jon

    I love the final quote from Paul Rand when Jobs asked for options:

    ‘No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.’

  2. Vic Nash

    Nice finding. The presentation is indeed very detailed, not omitting any possible explanations.

  3. Mike

    @Jon, the beauty of Rand’s answer is that’s how I believe Jobs approached products. Apple didn’t give us a dizzying array of choices (as Dell does). You want a tower? Mac Pro. Period.

  4. maxCohen

    Thank you so much for this. I had no idea Rand did this one!

  5. Jon

    @Mike, exactly!

  6. Mr Rand told a different story to his students, as can be read in the ‘Paul Rand, Conversations with Students’ book — I’ve posted the pages on my blog: http://iancul.com/?p=3504


  7. Ken

    Nice. Thanks for linking to the actual presentation and process of the logo. Such can really win a client.

  8. Dozer

    You got to love Rand’s little quips. I only wish I was so renowned that I could tell clients how it’s going to be.

  9. Victor

    I am a logo designer from Nigeria. Rand’s got so many great works but this NEXT is not too professional. You guys should forget its Rand’s work and judge this thing rightly.

  1. iancul.com - Oct 17th, 2011

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