Google Doodle Honors Raymond Loewy, the “Father of Industrial Design”

November 5, 2013, would have been the pioneer's 120th birthday.

  • Share
  • Read Later

Today’s Google Doodle honors what would have been the 120th birthday of Raymond Loewy (1893-1986), often referred to as the “father of industrial design” who “made products irresistible at a time when nobody really wanted to pay for anything,” as TIME once wrote.

He is the man behind the Lucky Strike cigarette pack, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Greyhound bus, the S1 Locomotive, logos for Shell and Exxon, plus the interiors of President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and NASA’s Apollo and Skylab “orbiters.” When he “streamlined” the Coldspot refrigerator design, sales at Sears went up, illustrating his famous line “between two products equal in price, function, and quality, the better looking will outsell the other.”

(MORE: MODERN LIVING: Up from the Egg – TIME)

TIME put him on the cover in Oct. 31, 1949, a period when he was “the dominant figure” in the field, which had “mushroomed from a groping, uncertain experiment into a major phenomenon of U.S. business.”

1101491031_400

BORIS ARTZYBASHEFF

While his designs were ubiquitous, some said his personality was an enigma. As TIME wrote

“He likes good food, but likes a trim figure better (he keeps his weight close to 170 by diet and massage), worked on through the lunch hour, pausing only for an apple and saccharin-sweetened coffee…Loewy talks in a subdued voice that is, at the same time, apologetic and compelling. His face is reposed, gentle, sad, and as inscrutable as that of a Monte Carlo croupier. Obsessively shy, he is always ‘Mr. Loewy’ even to his longtime associates. Even to those who know him well he is something of an enigma. Said one longtime acquaintance: ‘After all these years, I’m not even sure that I like him!’ Everything he does calls attention,-with skilled showmanship, to his work, so that observers at times get the strange feeling that he too is a design−by Loewy, of course.”

MORE: The Redesigning Of America

MORE: MERCHANDISING: Wake Up & Dream

36 comments
ssr
ssr

Dude is a dead ringer for Robert Downey Jr. Or rather, RD is a dead ringer for him, since Loewy was born first.

Hari.Chandran
Hari.Chandran

Looks like Howard Stark from Iron Man, kinda acts like him too :)

LucyHershey
LucyHershey

Funny, that a man with that much ingenuity couldn't come up with a girl's name for his daughter.  :)

Yolyse109sita
Yolyse109sita

Raymond Loewy has a good sense a humor,- and has great taste. LOL!

DRaven
DRaven

He looks like Iron man ! I don't know why ! 

jschmidt
jschmidt

He was a visionary. Designs that ended up purchased by ordinary people were different unlike some of the designs now that are only for the big spender. 

JeffDeWitt
JeffDeWitt

Lame, no mention of all his work with Studebaker.  He designed (or took credit for) some of the most striking and beautiful postwar cars built.

joebrien59
joebrien59

this is very cool.....very COOL!


rturnerbio
rturnerbio

Oh so very special.

Thanks for this one.

Now I smile.


Rt


vsdumouchel
vsdumouchel

It s  incredible. more  speed  and   more   fastest,   is  seem   an  engine  from   the  "rocket" a bullet  in  great  size  and  launched   from  a  canon  ....

DanniLove
DanniLove

A most talented man that incredibly changed the path of of industry and people Raymond Lowery! People like this go beyond the average "look what I got" mentality and actually have something to offer.

RyanLunde
RyanLunde

“between two products equal in price, function, and quality, the better looking will outsell the other.”

No shlt captain obvious

HugoGonzalez
HugoGonzalez

He looks like Mr House from Fallout New Vegas. 

CarmenBadagliacca
CarmenBadagliacca

I was just going to post he looks like Howard Stark from the Captain America film!

ShaunGneiting
ShaunGneiting

Aged, but uncanny resemblance to Tony Stark (R Downey Jr) very appropriate

smivey
smivey

@lauralsweet Clicked on this before I realised who posted it. Well, isn't it a small internet!

whelanfergal
whelanfergal

@RyanLunde Its only obvious to you now because of people like Loewy. Mass production was a new phenomenom. He and others inspired the evolution of modern design.. without them there would be no iPhone, no ergonomics, they were the Da Vincis of industrial design.  

SutaraLaoch
SutaraLaoch

@HugoGonzalez Makes me wonder if he was the inspiration for that character - the resemblance is uncanny!  I agree with @kostonn760 about RDJ.  The first thing I thought when I saw that Time cover was "It's Tony Stark!"

DanniLove
DanniLove

What does it matter what his images reflects when he was able so much more for you?

redcore
redcore

@SutaraLaoch @HugoGonzalez @kostonn760 I would definitely say the character of Tony Stark's father has a ton of Loewy influence, especially in the industrial designs from that era of Stark Industries. I thought that was a really cool aspect of the movie.

kostonn760
kostonn760

@DanniLove Chill out loverboy (or lovergirl? Sorry, can't really tell since your image reflects both a male and female); I'm pretty sure Hugo was just pointing out an observation. Just because you read on article on the internetz doesn't make you a master of Loewy's life. I was actually thinking more of an older Robert Downy Jr., but that's just me.