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Do you know why, in this day and age, we recognize a McDonald's from a distant mile? See it - before we smell it? Why we need but a glimpse of Tim Horton's to soothe our steering? You may be surprised at just how and when this all began.
It's impossible to look at Populuxe design without taking a peek at the trends which came before it. Streamline Moderne was responsible for cleaning up modern design and Googie for dolling it up again.
Without Streamline Moderne, there would be no Googie and no Populuxe. Originating in the 1930's during and after the Great Depression, Streamline Moderne unceremoniously stripped Deco of its lavish ornamental features.
Unlike the Roaring Twenties giddy on The Charleston, Champagne and Cocaine, the Thirties called for harsh austerity. Googie stripped away the frills and straightened out the lines. Equally, America's love affair with machine age technology, travel and ocean liners - informed design elements celebrating Speed and Motion.
However, the oldest McDonald's stand in Downey, California in 1953 still stands and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wayne McAllister was, no doubt, one of the early pioneers of Googie. Commissioned to design Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Burbank, California, McAllister single-handedly changed big branding forevermore. We can thank or resent Googie for a number of things.
Now that America had the automobile, America wanted to travel and America needed to eat along the way. To catch the attention of those zooming motorists and their bursting wallets, style became a must.
In the 1950s McAllister came up with the novel idea of developing unique branding for coffee shop chains by creating a recognizable style for each client. Travelling and getting a bite along the way would never be the same. Ravenous travellers could now see their snack-stop before they could smell it.