IBM’s Graphic Standards Manual originally designed by Paul Rand is to be reissued as a book by Empire editions. The not-for-profit publishing house run by Syndicat design studio’s Sacha Léopold and François Havegeer has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund the project, and aims to launch the book in December 2017.
The book comprises original scans of IBM’s graphic design guidelines and is being produced in collaboration with the archive team of IBM New York and the Kandinsky Library of the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris. It will be available in French and English.
The campaign tells the story of how designer Eliot Noyes was employed by the director of IBM in 1956 to rethink the entire company’s design approach, “from products to communication right up to the architecture of the buildings”.
Graphic designer Paul Rand was in charge of defining all of the graphics, and in 1972 created a series of logotypes comprising “drawn layered strips” which became IBM’s iconic eight-bar logo. This, Empire editions says, made “the company’s initials instantly recognisable all over the world”.
Between the 60s and 80s a manual for the company’s graphic design was built and regularly updated, including guidelines for the logotype, graphics and typography, design for internal and external documents, signage and architectural applications, which are presented in this softcover book. It also features a preface by Steven Heller.