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Engineered to SellEuropean Émigrés and the Making of Consumer Capitalism$
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Jan L. Logemann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226660011

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226660295.001.0001

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The Designer as Marketing Expert: European Immigrants and the Professionalization of Industrial and Graphic Design in the United States

The Designer as Marketing Expert: European Immigrants and the Professionalization of Industrial and Graphic Design in the United States

Chapter:
(p.133) Five The Designer as Marketing Expert: European Immigrants and the Professionalization of Industrial and Graphic Design in the United States
Source:
Engineered to Sell
Author(s):

Jan L. Logemann

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226660295.003.0008

While the rise of “styling,” “streamlining,” and specialized industrial design offices has been typically described as a specifically American response to the expansion of consumer markets and the challenges of the Great Depression, artists born and educated in Europe played a significant role in this process. This chapter sets out to trace rise of commercial dersign while systematically highlighting the contributions of European émigrés. Aside from work on individual immigrant artists, there is no comprehensive account of the impact European émigrés on commercial design in the United States. Yet, transatlantic exchanges significantly shaped the appearance of American consumer goods and commercial aesthetics by mid-century. Much like Loewy, moreover, some of the émigrés became prominent champions of a “new type of artist” with little inhibition in engaging in commercial art. The resulting “romance of commerce and culture” (James Sloan Allen) became a crucial aspect of modern consumer capitalism.

Keywords:   Professionalization of commercial design, Emigres in U.S. Graphic and Industrial design, Raymond Loewy, Herbert Bayer, Leo Lionni, Museum of Modern Art

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