Monday, August 26, 2013

Modern Print Monday: Raymond Loewy or...

Skylark Formica
Formica later changed the name to Boomerang

Raymond Loewy

The laminate countertop pattern came on the market in the 1950s and some credit Raymond Loewy, an industrial designer best known for his Studebaker.

1947 Studebaker ad
in pastels

But there is dissension in design history.
Below we have the 1953 Sunrise Color Line
featuring the Skylark at the top in pink, blue, white and charcoal gray
"styled by Raymond Loewy"

Loewy seems to have chosen a new palette and perhaps tweaked a design 
 also credited to Brooks Stevens Associates. Stevens designed Kaiser automobiles.

Brooks Stevens (1911-1995)
The shape, an abstract bird?, an amoeba? became a design icon.

Barkcloth mid '50s

See another Formica design by Brooks Stevens Associates at the Milwaukee Art Museum site:

Pink Skylark. 1954


  1. I grew up with Formica countertops in that design (red and other colored lines on white background) in our kitchen built in 1954. I think everyone who grew up in the US in the 50's recognizes this pattern as symbolic of the era. Somehow at the time it had a futuristic, space age connotation, possibly reminiscent of back-swept jet wings or the fins on rocket ships. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Oh yes--we had this counter top! My dad used it on his bar in the basement--a cool 50's hangout.

  3. Very strange: on the second picture from the top, Mr Loewy stands in front a picture of a car which seems to be a.... French Citroen ( CX or GS) Am I wrong?

    1. It's a Citroën CX.

  4. You'd have to ask someone who knows more about automobiles than I do. Countertop design is one thing. Cars another.