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Streamliner

Raymond Loewy and Image-making in the Age of American Industrial Design

John Wall

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The true story of Raymond Loewy, whose designs are still celebrated for their unerring ability to advance American consumer taste.

Born in Paris in 1893 and trained as an engineer, Raymond Loewy revolutionized twentieth-century American industrial design. Combining salesmanship and media savvy, he created bright, smooth, and colorful logos for major corporations that included Greyhound, Exxon, and Nabisco. His designs for Studebaker automobiles, Sears Coldspot refrigerators, Lucky Strike cigarette packs, and Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives are iconic. Beyond his timeless designs, Loewy…

The true story of Raymond Loewy, whose designs are still celebrated for their unerring ability to advance American consumer taste.

Born in Paris in 1893 and trained as an engineer, Raymond Loewy revolutionized twentieth-century American industrial design. Combining salesmanship and media savvy, he created bright, smooth, and colorful logos for major corporations that included Greyhound, Exxon, and Nabisco. His designs for Studebaker automobiles, Sears Coldspot refrigerators, Lucky Strike cigarette packs, and Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives are iconic. Beyond his timeless designs, Loewy carefully built an international reputation through the assiduous courting of journalists and tastemakers to become the face of both a new profession and a consumer-driven vision of the American dream.

In Streamliner, John Wall traces the evolution of an industry through the lens of Loewy's eclectic life, distinctive work, and invented persona. How, he asks, did Loewy build a business while transforming himself into a national brand a half century before "branding" became relevant? Placing Loewy in context with the emerging consumer culture of the latter half of the twentieth century, Wall explores how his approach to business complemented—or differed from—that of his well-known contemporaries, including industrial designers Henry Dreyfuss, Walter Teague, and Norman Bel Geddes. Wall also reveals how Loewy tailored his lifestyle to cement the image of "designer" in the public imagination and why the self-promotion that drove Loewy to the top of his profession began to work against him at the end of his career. Streamliner is an important and engaging work on one of the longest-lived careers in industrial design.

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Streamliner

John Wall

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Reviews

This book adds another important chapter to the legendary work of the man who essentially created the field of industrial design, thus making the corpus of his career's work available to a new generation of readers.

An elegant synthesis of Raymond Loewy's life and achievements, Streamliner is a splendid story and well told.

Streamliner ably summarizes the career of Raymond Loewy. Relying on a wide range of sources, John Wall provides the most expansive summary yet of the industrial designer’s career. Distinguishing this account from others is its emphasis on Loewy’s most successful design—his own image and reputation as a recognizable brand.

This meticulously researched biography of designer Raymond Loewy introduces us to an underappreciated genius—the man behind many of America’s most iconic product and logo designs. John Wall writes with elegant authority; it's clear from his cinematic and literary allusions that we are in the hands of a master prose stylist. Sit back and prepared to be informed and entertained.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
344
ISBN
9781421425740
Illustration Description
49 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. New Shores: Creating a Biography on the Fly
Chapter 2. Portrait of the Young Engineer as an Artist
Chapter 3. The Artist (and Others) Shape the Things to Come
Ch

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. New Shores: Creating a Biography on the Fly
Chapter 2. Portrait of the Young Engineer as an Artist
Chapter 3. The Artist (and Others) Shape the Things to Come
Chapter 4. Birth of a Salesman: Cold Calls, Clients, and Creativity
Chapter 5. Big Engines: Emergence of a Design Genius
Chapter 6. Constructing an Image while Building a Business
Chapter 7. Engines of Industry: Tractors, Tour Buses, and Ships
Chapter 8. Studebaker Beginnings: Internal Combustion, Internal Dissention, External Design
Chapter 9. The Starliner Coupe: Studebaker’s Breakthrough Design
Chapter 10. Avanti: Car Design Leaps Forward
Chapter 11. Becoming a Businessman: Building an Industry
Chapter 12. The Sales Curve Wanes
Chapter 13. The Long Road Down
Chapter 14. Legacy
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
John Wall
Featured Contributor

John Wall

John Wall, a former journalist, spent 23 years as a higher education public relations specialist at Penn State University and Juniata College.
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