Google Doodle honors 'father of industrial design'

The search giant's latest Doodle celebrates the 120th birthday of designer Raymond Loewy.

A Google Doodle honors the man who designed trains and a host of other products.
A Google Doodle honors the man who designed trains and a host of other products. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Today, Google Doodle pays homage to the "father of industrial design."

Born in Paris on November 5, 1893, Raymond Loewy was the man behind the designs for a variety of industrial products. Among his creations are the Shell logo, the Greyhound Scenicruiser, the GG1 and S1 locomotives, the JFK memorial postage stamp, the Studebaker Avanti, and the shell of Air Force One. He also was responsible for the interior of the Saturn I, the Saturn V, and Skylab.

After serving in the army during World War I, Loewy first dipped into the world of design in New York as a fashion illustrator. But he quickly advanced into industrial design, creating the look of a wide range of products, including Coca-Cola products, cigarette packs, refrigerators, cars, and spacecrafts, according to his bio. His career took off in 1929 when he was asked to improve the design of a mimeograph machine and produced the shell used for Gestetner duplicators for the next 40 years.

Upon Loewy's death on July 14, 1986, New York Times reporter Susan Heller commented on the man's prolific designs by saying that "one can hardly open a beer or a soft drink, fix breakfast, board a plane, buy gas, mail a letter, or shop for an appliance without encountering a Loewy creation."

Correction, 10:01 a.m. PT: Headline and story were updated because they originally misspoke about Raymond Loewy's work for Coca-Cola.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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