NeXT (later NeXT Computer and NeXT Software) was an American computer and software company founded in 1985 by Apple’s co-founder, based in Redwood City, California. The company developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations intended for the higher education and business markets.
As was a common part of the Paul Rand design process, a presentation book was produced in order to help persuade the client that the proposed idea was the right direction.
“Ideally, a logo should explain or suggest the business it symbolizes, but this is rarely possible or even necessary. There is nothing about the IBM symbol, for example, that suggests computers, except what the viewer reads into it. Stripes are now associated with computers because the initials of a great computer company happen to be striped. This is equally true of the ABC symbol which does not suggest TV. The mnemonic factors in both logos are graphic devices: stripes and circles.
“In this example the e is the mnemonic factor.”
A few legible scans from the book are hosted on the Print Magazine website.
When Paul Rand arrived to introduce the NeXT logo idea to the company team, it’s clear how excited Jobs was about the result.
When Jobs was asked what it was like to work with Rand, he 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.’”
The NeXT logo mightn’t be a classic, but the style of presentation is.
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