Brain Pickings

Paul Rand on The Role of the Imagination

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Paul Rand (1914-1996) — design legend, professional curmudgeon, uncompromising businessman. He is best remembered as the author of Thoughts on Design (1947), one of the most important design books of all time, but nearly half a century later, he produced another indispensable tome: From Lascaux to Brooklyn, published mere months before his death, gathers his life’s wisdom on the basic principles of design, creativity, and timeless visual communication.

From it comes this absolute gem, which echoes Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Anne Lamott’s sentiments on intuition vs. rationality, succinctly captures Steve Jobs’ famous advice on dot-connecting, and reflects my own philosophy of combinatorial creativity:

The role of the imagination is to create new meanings and to discover connections that, even if obvious, seem to escape detection. Imagination begins with intuition, not intellect.”

Then again, The Little Prince said it first.

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