Design documentaries: “American Look” and “American Maker”

Design documentaries: “American Look” and “American Maker”

Two documentaries commissioned by General Motors and produced by Handy (Jam) Organization in 1958 and 1960 and celebrating American design, creativity and craftsmanship.

These 30-minute long Technicolor “infomercials” were sponsored by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Corporation, and produced by Handy (Jam) Organization.

“American Look” (1958)

“American Look” gives an interesting and fascinating overview of the American industrial design in the late 1950s, a golden era of optimism and trust in technology and design, very well expressed in the introduction: “In Appreciation of the Stylists of America who works in lines, forms and textures and colors to give to us beauty, charm and elegance in the conveniences, comforts and necessities of our daily living. As a Tribute to Men and Women who Design.”

The film can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. More information at

“American Maker” (1960)

This second documentary, produced two years later, is more about the American culture of building things, celebrating craftsmanship and creativity.

The film is also available as a download from The Internet Archive. Additional information can be found at

See also…

If you haven’t done it yet, make sure to check out our previous posts with historic documentaries produced by Ford: “The Design Makers – Inside Ford Design” from the late 1960s and “Styling and the Experimental Car” (1964).


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