Paul Rand was a pioneer of graphic design itself. When he started out there was no such thing as graphic design. This was a time when Modernism in the arts was in its heyday and this was the core ideology that drove his career. He celebrated the works of artists from Paul Cézanne to Jan Tschichold, and constantly attempted to draw the connections between their creative output and significant applications in graphic design.
Simplicity and functionality were characteristics of Modernist design, and also an ambition to 'defamiliarize the ordinairy'. Rand was especially interested in what artists did with ordinary objects like apples (Cezanne) guitars (Picasso) machines (Duchamp) etc, and sought to 'defamiliarize the ordinary' like they did. For Rand this was a useful approach for corporate work, for example when he needed to create lively and original packaging for mundane items, such as light bulbs for Westinghouse”
He is famous for many corporate logos, many of which are still used today, like ibm and ford.
He is regarded as the one who has actually set standards for the creation of corporate logos, and that too, by devising the pre-requisites of modernity, simplicity and ease of recognition. Many of these logos or their basic designs are still in use.