London: Alec Teranti, Ltd, 1956. 8vo (9¼ x 7 inches). viii, 293 pp. Four color plates showing designs by Mondrian, Rietveld, Van der Leck, and Van Doesburg and Van Eesteren; and 48 black-and-white plates at end on 24 sheets. Original cloth. Light age-toning to sheet edges; minor handling wear to binding. Item #403038
A SUPERB ASSOCIATION COPY GIVEN BY HANS SCHLEGER TO PAUL RAND IN 1969, inscribed in Rand's hand on the title-page: "London Oct 3.69 from Hans Schleger." EXTENSIVELY ANNOTATED BY RAND: 71 pages bear a total of 164 of Rand's pencilled notes, underlinings, and doodles. In total, 91 phrases or sentences are underlined, 63 notes in margins repeat or amplify ideas, and there are five doodles, four annotated commentaries, and one correction.
Rand, the leading American modern graphic designer of the day, visited Schleger (1898-1976) in the autumn of 1969 in London. Rand admired Schleger, or Zero as he was known, once praising his role in modern design: “Hans Schleger was a graphic designer before the concept of graphic designer was invented." Zero pioneered the concept of corporate identity, working on logos and branding for John Lewis, Penguin Press, and Finmar Furniture, among other companies. The two designers met soon after the war at the Arts Club in Dover. "It was only a short time after we left the club that we were walking arm-in-arm along Picadilly, destined to be friends" (Paul Rand, quoted in Stephen Heller, 'Paul Rand.')
Rand shows an active engagement with Jaffe's text on de Stijl, early in the text marginally noting "dynamic equilibrium" (p.5) as an ideal of the movement. A number of Rand's notes mark points of comparison with Bauhaus tenets, and at one point he makes special reference to the concept of play in de Stijl practices (p.100). There are several notes in the section on Van Doesberg's writings on a new architecture (pp.160-61). A rather vehement note of "No Math!" accompanies Jaffe's writings on the need to step away from mathematical composition (pp.104-105).
This important association copy, connecting two twentieth century masters to one of its major design movements, is accompanied by two evocative documents of the trip:
1. Paul Rand's boarding pass from his flight aboard the Concorde. Rand's name is written in twice on the die-cut ticket. He sat in seat 1B.
2. Rand's manuscript notes and drawings on a sheet of lined paper. Two pages on one sheet, 8 x 5 inches. Includes a dozen small drawings in blue ink, and notes for a lecture on de Stijl (including a reference to Matisse): "The story of modern art is the story of The Transformation of the 3 dimensional world of the documentary to the 2 dimensional world of the imaginary."