FUN FRIDAY: Raymond Loewy, the man who designed America

OK, he didn’t actually design the Coke bottle. But Raymond Loewy’s redesign of it in the 1950s helped propel Coke to unquestioned leadership for 50 years. Raymond Loewy was a 20th-century industrial designer whose aesthetic brought style to everything from trains to pencil sharpeners. If you’re a fan of the “streamline” style of the 1940s, you have Raymond Loewy to thank for it.

Mr. Loewy’s long career included logos for Exxon and Shell, cars for Studebaker, Hupmobile and Lincoln, and of course industrial equipment for Coca-Cola. These were the style icons in the days before Apple and Google, and when someone wanted a product that looked like a rocket ship, they called Mr. Loewy.

Everything from Air Force One to Skylab was touched by his pen, and his 1946 home in Palm Springs (which he didn’t actually design but certainly approved) still looks cool today.

These days we’re more influenced by minimalist Germans like Dieter Rams, but for real American style, you don’t need to look any further than Raymond Loewy. The Verge has a show of some of his best stuff… it’s worth looking at.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.