Hat tip to Carlo Gandolfi who pointed me to this article. I just love all things NeXT, and the company logo is my second favourite after the original rainbow Apple logo.
In 1986 Jobs approached Rand to design the logo for his NeXT educational computer company. After obtaining permission from IBM, Jobs offered Rand a handsome sum to develop a logo for a product that was not yet public. The only thing Rand knew was that the mysterious NeXT computer was a black cube.
Paul Rand’s resulting NeXT Logo book — whose scans you can see in the article — is a piece of design art itself.
It is desirable to keep the letter style simple, unmannered, and untrendy so as not to distract from the cube concept. Furthermore, the use of a single identification device and a simple sans serif letter, designed to harmonize with almost any accompanying typeface, is essential for practical application.
Sound advice even outside the NeXT logo context, of course.