As someone with a certain taste for Aestheticism, I do really enjoy the creations of Jonathan Ive and Philippe Starck. Both of them bring Design at its highest level in their respective domains. Simplicity at its best, for the best user experience. Reading the recent post of PresentationZen 's Garr Reynolds on the elimination of the nonessential in presentation' design, I immediately thought about Industrial Design' father Raymond Loewy : " Never Leave Well Enough Alone " is one of my favorite books of all time. In my humble opinion - I am not a designer per se, as I don't do Design as a living - Loewy invented the whole stuff. To make it short, there won't an iPod, shall Loewy have decided to stay in France after World War I. Therefore, I am pretty surprised not to see that much reference to his work today. Maybe because he's French ;-)
Here are my ten favorite quotes by Raymond Loewy.
Note : I've added a couple of photos of actual products - from Apple, of course - for you to get the point, eventually. I bet you'll understand how visionnary Loewy was. And why all the modern Design gurus should thank him every time they get an award. Keep in mind : Raymond Loewy died in 1986 (at the age of 92).
"The main goal is not to complicate the already difficult life of the consumer."
"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
"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."
"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."
"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."
Bonus Track, DRM-free : "The most beautiful curve is a rising sales graph."