Paul Rand and Coldplay

Coldplay’s web site created this year, bears a remarkable resemblance to a book cover design by Paul Rand a few decades ago. The comparison cannot be missed.

Compare the Coldplay web page screen capture:

Home page at
Home page at

to Paul Rand’s assertive design:
Cover Design by Paul Rand
Cover Design by Paul Rand

Comparing is to focus on what is similar. Contrasting is to focus on what is not. There are obvious similarities but enough differences to understand in these two designs to see that the web design is perhaps more than inspired but not a derivative or copy of the book cover. It is “in the style of”. Maybe it’s even a tip of the hat.

The web page lacks the contrast of precise, explicit edges against accidental edges, and is more “dirty” in sensibility. The book cover is an example of modernism looking forward, the web page is an example of postmodernism looking backward.

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and design director at Alvalyn Creative, an independent practice near Thousand Oaks, California. She creates visual branding, publications and books for business, entrepreneurs and authors. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business roadmap program for creative freelancers. Contact her for your visual branding, graphic and digital design needs. Join her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe to her free monthly newsletter.

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