One of the most important graphic designers of the post-WWII era, Paul Rand is best known for his superb identity work for IBM, Next, UPS, American Airlines, and many other corporations. Lesser-known is his brilliant advertising work from the Fifties, such as his El Producto cigar campaigns. His designs for El Producto, like this one, often revealed a playfulness that deemphasized his thorough understanding of the Modernist work of AM Cassandre, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, and Jan Tschichold.
The El Producto campaign revolutionized cigar advertising by foregoing the historically stodgy motifs of the genre. El Producto wanted to force the cigar out of the men's club and into the mainstream. Surely taking a cue from Cassandre's Dubonnet figure of the 1930s, Rand created a cigar man with a multicolored bowler hat puffing or lighting a cigar to symbolize the brand. This packaging or display design, most likely for a Father's Day promotion or cigar box, was equally effective in print and on TV.