Raymond Loewy and the formula for good design


Yesterday marked Raymond Loewy’s 120th birthday. The google users amongst you may have noticed Loewy’s blueprint for the PRR locomotive was used as the google doodle – this decade’s surest marker of celebrity.

MB’s Darren shared the Verge’s article about Raymond Loewy’s incredible breadth of work; planes, trains, automobiles, as well as some of last centuries most recognisable products and brands. Oh, and a NASA space station. No biggy.

For MBSF’s James Trump, the article brought to mind Massimo Vignelli’s quote — “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”

MB Founder James Bull agreed – saying:

When we started out we said “if someone walks in and wants us to design a chair – we’ll say ‘sure’ and design chairs”…

I agree that “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”

I believe good design is just the result of “talent + dedicated time.”

Has James just nailed the formula for success for any Loewy-in-the-making? Or are designers like Loewy simply one in a million?

Update: David and Andy at MB London have put forward a case for Kenneth Grange to be named design king over Loewy as “his designs are more human-centric and actually usable.”

So who is the titan of 20th century design? Any other suggestions to throw into the mix?