Loewy, Raymond Fernand

Loewy, Raymond Fernand,

1893–1986, American designer, b. Paris, France. He emigrated in 1919, settling in New York City; he became a U.S. citizen in 1938. Known as the father of industrial design, Loewy is famous for his use of extremely functional, often streamlined styles in a wide range of commercial products and symbols, and his work set the style for functional commercial design in much of 20th-century America. He began as an advertising illustrator and a window and costume designer. In 1927 he opened his own firm, which ultimately became the world's largest industrial design company. His 1934 redesign of the Sears Coldspot refrigerator, with its rounded corners, aluminum shelves, and ease of use, made the appliance a great popular success and Loewy a design star. Shortly thereafter he began creating streamlined locomotives for the Pennsylvania Railroad, work he continued to do for some 20 years. Loewy's designs encompassed some of America's most iconic products and images, among them the Coca Cola bottle and vending machines, Lucky Strike cigarette package, livery for Air Force One, Post Office eagle logo, Greyhound buses, and Shell Oil and Exxon logos. He also designed automobiles, furniture, radios, televisions, dishes, utensils, pens, toothbrushes, packaging, and other items.

Bibliography

See his The Locomotive: Its Aesthetics (1937), and Industrial Design (1979, repr. 2000), and his autobiography, Never Leave Well Enough Alone (1951, repr. 2016), studies by A. Schoenberger, ed. (1990), P. Jodard (1999), and P. Tretiack (1999 and 2005).

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