Brain Pickings

Archive for January 5th, 2010

05 JANUARY, 2010

Steve Jobs on Working with Legendary Designer Paul Rand


A brave assault on the paradox of choice, or why the best option is the only option.

In this 1993 interview, Steve Jobs discusses what it was like to work with legendary designer Paul Rand, the mastermind behind the logo of Jobs’ second company, NeXT, and a creative legend of unflinching conviction. Like many geniuses, Rand seems to have had equal parts brilliance and bravado, talent and tenacity.

I asked him if he would come up with a few options. And he said, ‘No, I will solve your problem for you, and you will pay me. And you don’t have to use the solution — if you want options, go talk to other people. But I’ll solve your problem for you the best way I know how, and you use it or not, that’s up to you — you’re the client — but you pay me.’


He’s a very deep, thoughtful person who’s tried to express in every part of his life what his principles are. And you don’t meet so many people like that today.

For a wonderful companion read, see this 1990 interview with Rand on what he calls “the play instinct” — something Paula Scher, another titan of design, would come to echo a generation later in her fantastic TED talk.

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