DuBouchett and Paul Rand’s Illustrated Trademarks

Paul Rand took over the Dubonnet Man from its originator A.M. Cassandre when the liquor came to the United States. He also created the Coronet Man, the mascot for Coronet Brandy. But did you know about the DuBouchett Man (a Harlequin by any other name)? These are all illustrative trademarks, of which he did many. One doesn’t think of Rand doing illustration but he was quite active in the genre, doing his utmost to keep them from turning into cliches.

Rand wrote about “The Trademark as an Illustrative Device” in Seven Designers Look At Trademark Design (Paul Theobald Publisher, 1952): “A trademark is not merely a device to adorn a letterhead, to stamp on a product, or to insert at the base of an advertisement; nor one whose sole prerogative is to imprint itself by dint of constant repetition on the mind of the consumer public. The trademark is a potential illustrative feature of unappreciated vigor and efficacy; and when used as such escapes its customary fate of being a boring restatement of the identity of the products maker. . . This is important; monotonous repetition eventually loses its impact and the trademark which becomes a visual cliche will fail to evoke a response from the spectator.”

So even a recurring character like Dubonnet, Coronet and DuBouchett can have life after a hundred uses. And today, they actually seem fresh as ever.

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