October 26, 2006

Paul Rand's Children's Books

I really feel like I've let the kid down. Telling her she'll just have to wait until the US Open to see the IBM logo. Just shaking my head whenever a package comes, and she breaks out into another crying jag because the UPS logo just doesn't look right, Daddy, can't somebody fix it?

But now I find out that Paul Rand's gigantic design legacy hasn't, in fact, been erased from the world she was born into after all. Rand collaborated with his wife Ann on four children's books, and did others as well.

paul_rand_little1.jpg paul_rand_sparkle_spin.jpg
There are no boardbooks yet, but two of the Rand's books have been reissued this year by Chronicle:
  • Little 1, a "Do you want to be my friend?" deal, only with numbers, not animals [which came 27 years before Eric Carle, btw]
  • Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words, a wordplay book that focuses on textual rhythm, sounds, and rhyme.
    paul_rand_listen_listen.jpg paul_rand_lot_of_things.jpg

    The other two, Listen! Listen! [see the cover and some sample spreads here] and I Know A Lot Of Things are out of print, and copies can can range from $10 to $900. [?!] You may get a discount for the French copy, though.

    Now about that UPS logo...

    [4/07 update: finally saw some in person at the deYoung Museum gift shop in SF last weekend. Beautiful but boring to read.]

  • 4 Comments

    What's better than "Sparkle and Spin"? Alastair Reid and Ben Shahn's Ounce, Dice, Trice (1958).

    I feel so au courant - I bought Sparkle & Spin a couple of weeks ago!

    We were on vacation this summer at a cabin on Madeline Island on Lake Superior. There's a nice little library on the island that was selling of its old books on the cheapie rack. Happened upon Listen! Listen! and saw it was by Paul Rand. As a graphic designer, I snagged it. I think I paid $.50 for it.

    Tonight, out of curiosity, I did some googling and found this post. I think I'm going to fish it out of the pile of books in the kid's room and perhaps put it up on the higher shelf. ;o)

    [that's the spirit. now we can admit who this stuff is really for: us parents. -ed.]

    Greg,
    Do you happen to have a list of the rest of the children's books Paul Rand worked on? (What about Ann Rand?) Chronicle Books is considering bringing more of their work back into print, but I'm having a hard time tracking down a bibliography.
    Thanks.

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