One of the pleasures of perusing the AIGA Design Archives is the ability to view a staggering amount of work that spans years, such as the UCLA Extension Bulletins, which I recently stumbled across. “Extension Bulletins” may not sound like the most exciting thing to pore over, though AIGA executive director Ric Grefé notes they’ve “achieved iconic status in the graphic design community,” and you might be surprised by the contributing artists and designers. The list reads like who’s who of late-20th and early-21st century design: Primo Angeli, Dana Arnett, Saul Bass, Michael Bierut, David Carson, Margo Chase, Ivan Chermayeff, Seymour Chwast, Lou Dorfsman, Gene Federico, Alan Fletcher, Sam and Frank Gehry, Steff Geissbuhler, Alexander Gelman, Milton Glaser, Peter Good, April Greiman, Armin Hofmann, Leo Lionni, John Maeda, James Miho, Clement Mok, Woody Pirtle, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Deborah Sussman, Bradbury Thompson, George Tscherney, Michael Vanderbyl, Wolfgang Weingart, and Henry Wolf. Whew.
In 1988 Ken Parkhurst & Associates, Inc. created an attractive catalog cover for the winter quarter, featuring sprayed lettering on a newspaper grid (above). Shortly thereafter UCLA Extension’s creative director InJu Sturgeon developed a series of covers to be designed by master graphic designers, beginning in 1990. She approached Rand to do the first, for expenses only (he also had to complete the work ASAP). She believed that these works would function as more than simply catalog covers and would ultimately be works of art that the public could enjoy. Rand was sold.
His first effort was for the winter 1990 quarter, and featured a snow-covered orange made from cut paper (at the very top). Rand would go on to create four covers total, two of which are in the Archives. Bradbury Thompson followed Rand in the summer with symbols that celebrate personal growth. The next year, summer quarter 1991 featured the expressive artwork of designer Eiko Ishioka followed later that year by Armin Hofmann’s geometric photo collage, and Paula Scher’s iconic phrenology chart in the fall of 1992.