The Department of Illustration

paul rand- design and the play instinct

Posted in Visual Language by The Department of Illustration on March 20, 2009

playinstinct15influential article written in 1965 published in Gyorgy Kepe’s ‘The Language of Vision’ reproduced here

“Without the basic rules or disciplines, however, there is no motivation, test of skill, or ultimate reward—in short, no game. The rules are the means to the end, the conditions the player must understand thoroughly, and work with, in order to participate. For the student, the limits of a well-stated problem operate in much the same way. “Limited means,” says Braque, “beget new forms, invite creation, make the style. Progress in art does not lie in extending its limits, but in knowing them better.”

It is interesting to see how many of his examples (Le corbusier, Mondrian) had been taught as children using Froebel’s kindergarten ‘gifts’ and how this has affected their visual language.


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