Raymond Loewy and the formula for good design

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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?

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