Paul Rand designed this piece for a poster for the International Design Conference in Aspen in 1966.
Paul Rand was a leading modernist graphic designer throughout the second half of the twentieth century, most renown for his corporate trademarks, including those for IBM, Westinghouse, UPS, and ABC. Rand is credited for bringing the avant-garde art movements of early twentieth-century European modernism to American commercial work and helping to elevate the graphic design profession to greater respect and prominence in both corporate and everyday life. In this poster for the Aspen International Design Conference, an annual conference begun in 1949 that brings together industry leaders, Rand uses his typical blend of eye-catching clarity, simplicity, and a touch of whimsy. He liked to include visual cues in his work, like this poster’s egg, which reflects the 1966 conference theme, “Sources and Resources of 20th Century Design.” The egg is both a source of life and a resource for life-sustaining nutrients, surviving amid the uneven painterly spots—perhaps a reference to a spotted bird’s egg, to the chaos of emerging postmodern design that Rand opposed, or more simply to the playfulness of design.