Raymond Loewy: Icon of Modern Design

GoogleLoewyTrainIf you’ve been on Google today, you’ve surely noticed the futuristic train sketch replacing the usual logo, as Google honors Raymond Loewy on his 120th birthday anniversary.

You may not be familiar with the name, but you are certainly familiar with the results of Loewy’s lifetime of work in the design field, whether you know it or not.  Each time you pass a Shell station, or visit the Post Office, or drink Coke from a bottle, you are interacting with one of Loewy’s creations.

Throughout his lifetime of work, spanning 70 years in the field of industrial design — emphasis on “design” — Loewy championed the notion that manufacturing could produce items that were beautiful as well as functional.  From cars, trains, planes, boats, and buses, to appliances, flatware, dinnerware, furniture, product logos and packaging, Loewy could “claim to have made the daily life of the 20th Century more beautiful”, as he himself once said.

Want more proof? Click on the Google logo, then click on the “Images” tab of results for a broad overview of the many items that Loewy designed.  Here’s a screenshot of just a small portion of one page:


Loewy’s work with corporate logos alone resulted in many icons that are still in use today, including Shell, Exxon, Nabisco, and the US Post Office. Several graphic designers of my acquaintance would give their eyeteeth to have legacies as lasting! 🙂