Quotes

By Raymond Loewy:

“It all must start with an inspired, spontaneous idea.”

“The main goal is not to complicate the already difficult life of the consumer.”

“I can claim to have made the daily life of the 20th Century more beautiful.”

“For our appointment, I brought along sheets of colored paper, scissors, razor blades and rubber cement. Since his desk at the Oval Office was relatively small, we just sat on the floor cutting out colored paper shapes and working out various ideas. We had three sessions lasting about an hour each and he approved a design quite similar to one of my early suggestions.” – describing his working relationship with JFK

“I believe most in educated intuition, in what you get through profound experience.”

“Today every city, town, or village is affected by it. We have entered the Neon Civilization and become a plastic world.. It goes deeper than its visual manifestations, it affects moral matters; we are engaged, as astrophysicists would say, on a decaying orbit.”

“I alienated the automotive industry by saying that cars should be lightweight and compact.. I’d also kill chrome forever, or any other applied junk.”

“It’s shape is aggressively female – a quality that in merchandise, as in life, sometime transcends functionalism.” — referring to the Coca-Cola bottle shape

“Jukeboxes on wheels, aesthetic aberrations that masked the workings of the machine beneath the layers of tawdry flash.”
— commenting on Detroit chrome

“Junky stuff is consumer murder.”

“Form, which should be the clean-cut expression of mechanical excellence, has become sensuous and organic.”

“I believe one should design for the advantage of the largest mass of people, first and always. That takes care of ideologies and sociologies. I think one also should try to elevate the aesthetic level of society. And to watch quality control always, while insisting others do, too.”

“I waited for the S-1 to pass through at full speed. I stood on the platform and saw it coming from the distance at 120 miles per hour. It flashed by me like a steel thunderbolt, the ground shaking under me, in a blast of air that almost sucked me into its whirlwind. Approximately a million pounds of locomotive were crashing through near me. I felt shaken and overwhelmed by an unforgettable feeling of power, by a sense of pride at what I had helped to create. I had, after all, contributed something to a great nation that had taken me in and that I loved so deeply. And I had come a long, happy way myself from my start in fashion advertising. I had found my way of life.”

“Standing somewhere between New York and Philadelphia, I don’t know where, and seeing that engine come at high speed, shaking the ground. It was a thrill, unforgettable. There are great the great moments in a man’s life…”

“As an American citizen who still loves his native country, France, it is heartwarming to see that this country appreciates the beauty and taste that all Frenchmen prize.”

“Industrial design keeps the customer happy, his client in the black and the designer busy.”

“Design, vitalized and simplified, will make the comforts of civilized life available to an ever-increasing number of Americans.”

“Between two products equal in price, function and quality, the one with the most attractive exterior will win.”

“I once said that the most difficult things to design are the simplest. For instance, to improve the form of a scalpel or a needle is extremely difficult, if not impossible. To improve the appearance of a threshing machine is easy. There are so many components on which one can work.”

“There is a frantic race to merchandise tinsel and trash under the guise of ‘modernism.'”

“We know that logic alone does not sell automobiles, so its immediate appeal is emotional; sheer elegance and design finesse, the wish to feel its slender curves, to love that car, to be known as its discriminating owner.”

“As a boy I had liked both drawing and physics, and I always abhorred the role of being a spectator. In 1908, when I was 15, I designed, built and flew a toy model airplane which won the then-famous James Gordon Bennett Cup.. By 16 I had discovered that design could be fun and profitable, and this lesson has never been lost on me.”

“We didn’t realize what the repercussions might be decades later.. America became flooded by cheap, sleazy junk bought by consumers who saw gaudiness as a mark of advanced ‘futuristic’ design.”

“I sought excitement and, taking chances, I was all ready to fail in order to achieve something large.”

“In many cases it is hypocrisy for the designer to talk of ‘functional design’ when they have become too fat with too many facilities, too many materials which they use wastefully.”

“It would seem that more than function itself, simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation. One might call the process beauty through function and simplification.”

“Style for the sake of style alone will have less meaning to the consumer than value. An interruption of the spiral created by boosting sales from year to year with false inducements of style, bulk and flash gives design a new lease on life. Aesthetic beauty will be the direct result of careful planning and precision manufacturing.”

“A designer must always think about the unfortunate production engineer who will have to manufacture what you have designed; try to understand his problems.”

“The most beautiful curve is a rising sales graph.”

“I believe most in educated intuition.”

“It all starts with an inspired, spontaneous idea.”

“Junky stuff is consumer murder.”

“Good design is not an applied veneer.”

“Beauty through function and simplification.”

“It’s a simple exercise; a little logic, a little taste, and the will to cooperate.”

“First and foremost we apply our creativity to generating ideas.”

“More than function itself, simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation.”

About Raymond Loewy:

“Loewy keeps one eye on the imagination and one eye on the cash register.” — Charles Luckman, Lever Brothers

“Loewy has probably affected the daily life of more Americans than any other man of his time.” — Cosmopolitan magazine, 1950

“A blend of stylist, engineer and poll taker, the designer operates in the mysterious sphere of popular taste and prejudice. His tools are color, shape, texture.” — John Kobler, Time magazine

“From toothbrushes to automobiles, Raymond Loewy’s streamlined designs of thousands of consumer goods and their packaging radically changed the look of American life.” — The New York Times

“Through his talent, the force of his personality, his charm, his energy, his flair, his Parisian air, his genius for promoting himself and his profession, and his ability to intermediate so well between so many worlds, Raymond Loewy bestrode the profession he had helped created. More than any other individual, he was responsible for convincing business of the importance of design.” — Glenn Porter, Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture