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Raymond Loewy, influential industrial designer, celebrated by Google

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Even if you've never heard of Raymond Loewy, chances are you have seen or used a product he designed.

Today would have been Loewy's 120th birthday and he is being honored with his own Google Doodle.

Loewy, born in Paris on Nov. 5, 1893, was an industrial designer who achieved fame for his design efforts across a variety of industries. He was recognized for this by Time magazine and featured on its cover on Oct. 31, 1949.

After being injured fighting for the French in World War I, Loewy moved to America and worked in New York as a window designer for department stores such as Macy's and Sak's. He also worked as a fashion illustrator for magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

After earning industrial design commissions from companies such as Westinghouse, he made his mark by designing the Coldspot refrigerator for Sears-Roebuck.

From there, Loewy counted among his designs the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and S-1 locomotives, the Lucky Strike package, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. His career spanned seven decades. (via Wikipedia)

Loewy has often been credited with designing the world-famous contoured Coca-Cola bottle. According to a Coke historical website, Loewy did work with Coke on several projects now considered classics, "from the streamlined cooler to the Dole Deluxe fountain dispenser to the Hobbs truck body." But Loewy was not involved with the design of the famous bottle. It was desided by the Root Glass Company in 1915.

However, Loewy knew a classic when he saw it. In a letter from Loewy to The Coca-ColaCompany, he described the contour bottle, saying, “The Coke Bottle is a masterpiece of scientific, functional planning. In simpler terms, I would describe the bottle as well thought out, logical, sparing of material and pleasant to look at. The most perfect ‘fluid wrapper’ of the day and one of the classics in packaging history.”

Today's doodle illustration honors his work with Pennsylvania Railroad and turns the Google logo into the distinctive K4s Pacific #3768 shroud design.

Google Doodles are "fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists."

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