That was Paul Rand paraphrasing Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who said, “I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.”

For more from the late Mr Rand, here’s an interesting three-part interview.


Taste is subjective. “Good” is objective when everyone can look at your work, regardless of taste and say “This person knows what they are doing.”

We have to remind ourselves that we are communicators, so content is paramount. Often projects look so nice and there are some beautiful pieces of work out there, that we forget what the message is, what were/are we trying to say… Don’t just follow a trend but remember to communicate the message.

Of course there is room from time to time to take things further, its all good fun…

Simple and effective. Things have gotten so complex with the whole 2.0 push that designers really need to remember the grass roots. “Don’t try to be original. Just try to be good.” Let that resonate.
Great video!

Anyone know the company of the logo shown at 3:03?

I have looked under under the identity work, but it is no where to be found.

I was at Half Price Books yesterday and recall seeing the identity on the spines of books which means it must be a publisher.

I also thought maybe Imaginary Forces made a mistake and accidentally mistaken Paul Rand’s work with Chermayeff & Geismar’s work. I looked under Chermayeff & Geismar’s site and it is not filed under their identity portfolio either.


I think this is pertinent because design isn’t modern art. There’s a lot of creativity in it, but it’s not always about being revolutionary and pushing the boundaries of the discipline. A lot of people seem to confuse ‘design’ with ‘making something pretty’. I’ve been guilty of this in the past, and while I think aesthetics are a very important thing to consider while working, the primary consideration is, of course, conveying your message.

We could create a parallel example of this statement and apply it to the “2.0 design pushers” from Christopher’s comment:

“Don’t play with filters, grunge backgrounds, art brushes, spray brushes, transparencies, sparkles, dots or swirls in a vain attempt to be original. Just focus on a good grid design structure or getting a competent drawing.”

Nothing says “I can’t draw” louder than a bunch of zany eye candy without a well-formed structure to hang off. If old school means naive, I’m all for being naive!

Yes, Doug. Like the imaginative Photoshop addition of lens flare.

Josh, can’t help you there unfortunately.

Rajesh, Christopher, Tjeerd, Ian, thanks for the comments. Happy Fridays.

Share a thought