“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Pablo Picasso
In this article, Cameron Moll describes his interpretation of this quote. He agrees that we should borrow ideas from others designs, in that sense I agree with him. If you have the ability to use en existing idea, personalise it and end up with a successful product, why wouldn’t you? In my opinion i would use the word influence rather than borrow or steal as that is what it is.
Moll also suggets that we should “borrow” ideas from ourselves, this means that in a way we influence ourselves. This could happen through experimentation and whether your design was good or bad.
As designers, it is safe to say that we have all been influenced by other designers. Being influenced by someone else is what challenges you to do better. If there wasn’t such a thing as influence, what would happen to design? If there was only such a thing as design instinct, how successful would individuality really be?
Paul Rand is arguably one of the most influential graphic designers. He is most well known for his work corporate logo designs. Rand had a very different approach to design, which is what lead him to his success.
Here are examples of some of Rand’s work:
United Parcel Service, 1961
American Broadcasting Corporation, 1962
International Business Machine (8 bar variation), 1972
Paul Rand is a name that every designer should know, and should learn from.
“Design firm Chermayeff, Geismar & Haviv have designed more than 100 corporate identities for clients such as Chase, PBS, Mobil, and Pan Am. For them, design is solving problems, and they pursue the best solution, regardless of form. Partner Tom Geismar recently spoke of studying at Yale “at a time when even the term ‘graphic design’ was just coming into use. Among the visiting teachers were Lester Beall, Alexey Brodovitch, Leo Lionni, Alvin Lustig, and Herbert Matter. They are all rightful heroes to us, along with, and especially, Paul Rand, whose influence continues to evoke wonder.” Tom Gesimar
“Cantankerous, irascible, loving–bristling with talent, brimming over with taste, and endowed with invincible personal conviction–the original and badass Rand showed the way,” said legendary advertising man George Lois. Well-known for his Esquire magazine covers from the 1960s, Lois believes in “the Big Idea” that cuts through the clutter and reaches people. His goal for Esquire was to create covers so compelling they would stop people on the street and make them buy the magazine. “Thoughts on Design takes an honored place in my extensive library. Now a tattered bible, I read and reread it a thousand times in my early teens. Rand’s talent and instinct created an absolutely supreme standard for the rest of my life.” When asked for tips for young designers, Lois answered, “My advice is to read Damn Good Advice (by George Lois) and then read it again, and again, just as I read Thoughts on Design by Paul Rand when I was 14 years old.” George Lois
My reasoning behind looking into influences within design is because of the essay question; Is design instinct or influence? I am starting to believe that it might be both of those elements. Looking at the two examples above, they both clearly have been influenced by Paul Rand, however these designers didn’t just copy his work, they used some ideas and made it their own. This suggests that they have ability to design without influence. Having said that, influence aids them in being successful designers.