It was all quite surreal. Both meeting Doug Evans and being in the presence of a trove of Paul Rand work, yet not being at the Yale archives. Doug and I had traded emails for the better part of two years, several of which he was not on the same continent as me and this was the first time we stood face-to-face.
We were to meet at 7am on a workday at his storage locker in Lower Manhattan. It was in the middle of New York’s 10 straight days of rain which came in October. It was pouring and I was late and lost. I decided to walk one block east after standing on a corner getting wet even under an awning, and I found it.
Doug already had a bakers’ rack wheeled out of the 5’ X 10’ space but the rest was filled with boxes stacked to the ceiling. We were looking for a single sheet of paper.
Fueled by a combination of history and simple pride, Doug and I were driven to find Paul Rand’s original sketch of the Servador logo. Doug knew it existed. I just hoped. Two weeks earlier, I had posted an article highlighting what we believed was Paul Rand’s final logo for a company called Servador. Well, not only had it come into question that it was Rand’s final logo, but that he had even designed it at all.
I believe we moved some scuba gear out of the way. A few lamps. Two leopard statues. Maybe they were dogs. A 3’ X 4’ original silk-screened poster autographed by Rand. The signs were good. There was a bunch of other stuff but it was the three or four file boxes which had my focus. Finally, we reached them.
Doug found the Servador sketch almost immediately. I have to say, his files were surprisingly well organized considering the hodgepodge of collectibles in the locker and Doug’s Einsten-like hair. The sketch was perfect and exactly what we wanted. We had actual proof that Rand designed the Servador logo. There was more though. For the next half hour, sketch after sketch of logos emerged along with faxes, computer printouts, doodles, personal letters, and sketches of posters and book covers. In addition to those covering Servador, we found material on American Express, Sears, USSB, NPR, Enron, and Computer Impressions (One of three companies of Doug’s for which Paul Rand designed a logo). There was a world of design history there, never before seen by most of the profession, never by Steve Heller and possibly Marion Rand. Maybe no one other than Paul Rand, Doug Evans and their clients had seen this work.
We were moving quickly. I was trying to take in and absorb the work knowing that once it passed my eyes, I would probably not have the chance to see much of it again, at least not the originals. I found myself staring, almost paralyzed at times looking at faded pencil drawings only to be pressed by Doug to keep focused.
We also found a file for Doug Evans + Partners, Doug’s consulting firm, loaded with sketches and back-and-forth from Paul and Doug. The process was similar to Rand’s other late work. Rand would do all of the sketching and Doug would produce the work on the computer. There were many faxes and what was surprising to both of us was that the dates showed that the work was actually done after Servador, and in fact was done right before Rand passed.
As quickly as we had unloaded the space, we repacked the locker and headed for a copy store. As I rushed and fumbled to make copies, Doug raced to his apartment to wash up and pack as he was in New York for less than 24 hours. He picked me up before I was really finished, and then we drove to Steve Heller’s office in Midtown and showed him the sketches. Heller confirmed the autheticity of the Servador logo and commented on Speak Up regarding Doug Evans + Partners, Rand’s actual final logo. Heller wrote that Rand’s final logo “was, in fact, designed for Doug Evans’ consulting firm and was fine-tuned by Rand while he was in his hospital bed.” Heller went on, “I do recall him telling me on the phone that he was working on a logo days before he passed.”
After Heller’s confirmation, I went to work and Doug drove straight to Connecticut to share the work with Marion Rand and to leave it with her. She in turn has passed the work to the Yale Archives where she believes it belongs.
Paul Rand’s actual final logo was for Doug Evans + Partners. Below are the sketches and final designs. Enjoy.
Click on sketches for a larger image
Paul Rand’s logo for Doug Evans + Partners, one-color and full-color: