John Maeda interviews Paul Rand (1)

What is design?

Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple defintions, there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.

What is the difference between a designer and an artist?

There is no difference between a designer and an artist. They both work with form and content. I try to create art, whether I make it or not is not up to me, it's up to God.

What is the difference between 'good' design and 'bad' design?

A bad design is irrelevant. It is superficial, pretentious, ... basically like all the stuff you see out there today.

What are the fundamental skills of a designer?

The fundamental skill is talent. Talent is a rare commodity. It's all intuition. And you can't teach intuition.

Most of your designs have lasted for several decades, what would you say is your secret?

Keeping it simple. Being honest, I mean, completely objective about your work. Working very hard at it.

How did you get started as a designer?

(raising his eyebrows) I think you should ask, how did I get started as a baby?


(1) [MIT Ideas]

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