Raymond Loewy

The most complex things to draw are those with the simplest aesthetics. Each object le grammeapplies this rigour in its register of shapes, whether worn or functional, from a simple clasp to a monolith presenting its collections.

"My only regret is not to have created the egg, this perfect shape". Why does the man who designed President Kennedy's Air Force One make this bitter observation in his memoirs? A genius designer, a true Mad Man, Raymond Loewy nevertheless touched everything that flies, rolls or floats, designing the identity of the American way of life and leaving as a legacy a number of logos that we still come across every day*.

Born at the end of the 19th century, he designed an airplane powered by a simple rubber band at the age of fifteen and marketed it the following year. Ten years later, Loewy flew to the United States with just forty dollars in his pocket.
Loewy hates the expression of complexity, and throughout his career, he will strive to make objects of questionable aesthetic beauty beautiful. He was first fired from Macy's for daring to offer a showcase with visionary simplicity and far too much of a breakthrough for the time: a single model in an evening gown, a mink coat lying at his feet...
"Born at the end of the 19th century, he designed an airplane propelled by a simple rubber band at the age of fifteen, and marketed it the following year. »
For ten years, Loewy agreed to work as an illustrator for Vogue and Harper's bazaar to subsist, but his ultimate interest was elsewhere and his passion for the object remained.

The first industrialist to benefit from the talent of the man who would also say that "ugliness doesn't pay" was Sigmund Gestetner. To the complex and smelly workings of Gestetner's forerunner of the photocopier, Loewy contrasts a grille with the futuristic aesthetics of the time. It conceals the workings, the object appears simple to use and sales take off, as does Loewy's career as a designer.

He has just invented a style - streamlining or aerodynamics of form: achieving beauty through function and simplification. A vision shared by those le grammewho strive to express the essence of the object and the material in each of his creations.

As a designer, engineer, decorator, psychologist, architect and advertiser, Loewy approaches each of its projects through the prism of this formal aerodynamics: the Coldspot refrigerator, the Lucky Strike package, the Studebacker car...
"He has just invented a style of streamlining or aerodynamics of forms: achieving beauty through function and simplification. »
And the Holy Grail of aerodynamics - for the person who designed the emblematic cocotte Coquelle - is ironically the egg: simple, functional, beautiful; an elementary form with absolute simplicity that can be found in the outline of the first object imagined byle gramme: the ribbon bracelet.

Like many other Loewy creations, the Pennsylvania Road locomotive designed for the World's Fair is inspired by the egg, its unique ovoid shape that allows any force exerted to spread over the entire shell. This distribution of forces had already been observed by medieval architects and had generated the warhead crossings in churches. Although a believer, Loewy did not design a church, nor did he design coffins or grenades, which were, according to him, the only two objects that could not be redesigned.
"A distribution of forces already observed by the architects of the Middle Ages and which had generated the warhead crossings in the churches. »
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