How Paul Rand influenced Steve Jobs to accept the the visual identity for NeXT.

When in 1985 Steve Jobs left Apple after boardroom machinations left him on the outside looking in, he went on to found NeXT. The primary product was the NeXT computer. The fate of NeXT was sealed when Apple acquired it for more than 654 million dollars, and Jobs returned to work at Apple. However during Job’s time at NeXT he commissioned graphic designer Paul Rand to create the visual identity for NeXT.

Rand had the reputation for exerting great influence on his clients, he created a 100-page branding book to help Steve Jobs understand the entire design process hidden behind the NeXT identity.  This book is a step by step guide to creating the visual identity of NeXT.  The presentation book was a useful tactic for Rand as he persuaded his clients that his proposed ideas was the only and most timely solution.

next logo presentation
next logo presentation

When Jobs recalled working with Rand, Jobs said I asked him if he could come up with several options for the logo, and he said “No, I’ll solve your problem and you’ll pay me.  You do not have to use the solution.  If you need options, hire someone else, not me.”

next logo presentation
Next logo presentation – explanation of fonts
Presentation for Next - visual identity
Presentation for Next – visual identity

The branding guide is an excellent reminder of the commitment of excellence of Rand.



teamSimon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium-size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment.

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