The Mossberg & Company Inc. logo and Paul Rand
One of the founders of modern graphic design, Paul Rand has served as a creative inspiration to three generations of graphic artists in the U.S. and around the world. Rand’s philosophy of design was influenced by the formalism of the European avant-garde movement, but the style for which he became famous was uniquely American, combining simplicity, wit and marketing savvy to create some of the most recognizable corporate images in the world. Among the logos Rand developed were those of IBM, United Parcel Service, ABC Television, Westinghouse, The Limited, and Mossberg & Company.
Paul Rand was one of the twentieth century’s most influential graphic designers. Born in New York City, Rand was educated at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and the Art Students League, where he worked with George Grosz. From 1936 to 1941 he served as the art editor of Esquire magazine, and he taught at the Advertising Guild, Pratt, Cooper Union, and Yale University, where he was a professor emeritus of graphic design. He has received awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Art Directors Club of New York and was given an honorary doctorate by the Philadelphia College of Art.
The Designer and the Printer
Mossberg & Company and Paul Rand shared a professional relationship lasting more than a quarter century. The partnership began in the early 1960s when Rand approached Mossberg seeking a high-quality Indiana firm to print the annual report, he designed for Cummins Engine Company and lasted until the designer’s death in 1996. During its years of working with Paul Rand, Mossberg & Company had the privilege of printing his three books about design, his famous logo presentation booklets with their characteristic French folds, and numerous other Rand publications. Off the press and on, Rand was the consummate artist, whose keen eye for design, meticulous sense of detail, and sharp wit forged for him a reputation unmatched anywhere in the profession.
The Mossberg Logo
In addition to producing many Rand works, Mossberg & Company was also privileged to have the esteemed designer create its company logo. Rand offered to develop the logo as a gesture of friendship to the company he had worked with for so long. In 1991, Rand presented Mossberg & Company with the brightly colored, visually stunning logo the company still uses. Rand included the logo in his 1993 book Design, Form, and Chaos, noting that while the design suggested a printing press to many, “this was not intended.”