Big Brother and Paul Rand

Reading Time: 2 minutes

So Channel 4 ran this advertisement for the last series of Big Brother on Metro and I took a picture of it as it reminded me of something. I couldn’t remember why but it nagged at me. It was the visual equivalent of having a name or word on the tip of your tongue.
R eye P
Eventually it came to me one evening whilst I was toasting a bagel what it was that nagged me about this advert. It was that the creative idea behind it reminded me of work that seminal designer Paul Rand did for IBM.

eye bee m

Rand managed to create this image for the most corporate of companies ever: this image is from the eye bee m poster designed by Rand in 1981 for IBM. Which to me says something about the genius of the guy and the simplicity of the idea. Rand was a pioneer in graphic design developing iconic brand identities for IBM, Cummins diesel engines, UPS and infamously Enron.

Rand was famous for being widely read and this helped his work. He was also the only graphic designer to have his own ‘Think Different‘ poster. And I love the tenuous link between Rand’s high culture of graphic design with the low culture of reality television.