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Continuing in our tradition of drawing inspiration from across generations, countries, and cultures, Jacques Marie Mage has always incorporated historical details and decorative aspects that not only celebrate iconic moments in history, but iconic masters of their craft who shaped how we experience the world.

One such masterful craftsmen that has served as an especially profound inspiration is Raymond Loewy, a titan of industrial design who streamlined everything from cigarette packs to spacecraft, a technique he defined as “beauty through function and simplification.”

The inventiveness of streamlining, a method that sought to design shapes in their most optimal form, evolved from the Art Deco period and incorporated lessons learned from the aerodynamic shapes of missiles and jets employed in World War II. The style dominated design from the 1930s to the 1950s, fuelling the post-war consumer revolution and becoming the visual language of American modernity.

This was in no small part due to Mr. Loewy, a French-born American who, over the course of his 50-year career, would become known as the “Father of Industrial Design.” His works included the corporate logos of Exxon, Shell, and countless others; the redesign of Coca-Cola, resulting in its world-famous bottle; futuristic designs for the trains of Pennsylvania Railroad, and the builds for now classic Studebaker and Lincoln Continental cars.

The French-born artist with a love for America was profoundly influenced by an early trip to Japan. There, Loewy happened upon two men in kimonos playing cards for hours in absolute silence. As the story goes, he rushed back to his design team “and gave them a two‐day seminar on Japanese taste — reduction to essentials.”

Loewy spent most of his spectacular career with New York as a launch pad, though his fondness for speed and starkness (and a growing list of clients) frequently led him West. Eventually, he’d commission a truly iconic home in Palm Springs, California, designed for him by famed desert modernist Albert Frey. An interesting juxtaposition to the country home where he spent his final decade, the Manoir de la Cense, a 16th‐century hunting lodge 40km southwest of Paris, built by Henry IV for his mistress.

A true citizen of the world, Loewy’s creations were as much about simplicity and efficiency as they were about aesthetics, or what Loewy called, “the ecstasy of creativity.” Beaming with an innate sense of confidence, optimism, and forward motion, Loewy’s designs embodied the idealism of mid-century America. Its this humming vision of progress, full of naiveté and power that still keeps us designing for a faster, brighter future.

Tags: JacquesMarieMage , Acetate , Japan , Circacollection , Loewy

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