Rand’s El Producto Cigar Album

By March 1, 2012 Commentary

This modernist package is one my favorite possessions. I purchased it for a few bucks at a flea market in Philadelphia.

Paul Rand El Producto cigar box

Paul Rand El Producto cigar box

It was designed by the legendary Paul Rand and features a photogram on the cover—hence the title “Cigar Album.” It is made from cedar and wrapped in offset printed paper and had dividers inside blocking the cigars into compartments. The interior is bright red. I use it to hold pens and pencils. Not sure of the year. Looks to be mid-sixties? Man Ray or Laszlo Moholy-Nagy influenced no doubt. More on Rand here.

From Wikipedia: Among the accolades Rand received were those of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy:

“Among these young Americans it seems to be that Paul Rand is one of the best and most capable [. . .] He is a painter, lecturer, industrial designer, [and] advertising artist who draws his knowledge and creativeness from the resources of this country. He is an idealist and a realist, using the language of the poet and business man. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems but his fantasy is boundless.”

—Heller, Steven. “Thoughts on Rand.” Print, May–June 1997