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Editorial: Columbus perfect fit for Rand collection

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Columbus has scored a coup.

What other way is there to appropriately describe what it means for the School of Fine Art & Design at Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus to receive a collection of Paul Rand documents?

If you don’t recognize the name, you surely know the late designer’s works here:

  • Cummins Inc.’s logo.
  • The dancing C’s used to brand Columbus Area Visitors Center.
  • C-shaped bike racks found around the city.
  • The Tipton Lakes logo with three ducks.

Rand also created the corporate logos for IBM, UPS, Enron and ABC.

The documents were given to the school by Randy Tucker, former Cummins director of public relations. Tucker worked closely with Rand while he designed the company’s logo and more than 20 annual reports between 1962 and 1994 as Cummins’ design consultant.

The collection includes Rand markups, reports and books — including the one Rand presented to Steve Jobs (the late Apple Computers co-founder) with the NeXT educational computer company logo.

Tucker finally had an idea what to do with the items after crossing paths with Lloyd Brooks, visual communications chairman at Ivy Tech’s School of Fine Arts & Design. Brooks had created Big Art Bang, a visual communications learning experience and professional development for Ivy Tech students and a community art event for the public.

What resulted from Tucker’s generosity and Brooks’ imagination was a Rand exhibit to be used for community education and tourism, and to promote the Rand legacy and his connection to Columbus. A two-day Rand workshop was conducted March 31 and April 1. Rand pieces will be on display in Hotel Indigo and at the Ivy Tech Gallery of Fine Arts & Design through Tuesday.

There’s a long-term benefit, too. Students studying design and fine arts can see Rand’s works firsthand and learn from them. Rand aficionados, art lovers and the public will have interest, too.

The Rand collection is important to have here. His branding has had a huge visual impact in Columbus because residents see his works and immediately identify them with specific aspects of the city.

Since Columbus is known for design, with its world-class architecture and as home to the Indiana University Center for Art+Design, Tucker’s gift to Ivy Tech and the community in general is a perfect fit.

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