Born in Auckland in 1889, Jo Sinel attended Elam Art School and then became a lithographic artist for Wilson & Horton Lithographers. Always driven by wanderlust, he went to Australia and England before returning to the southern hemisphere as a freelance designer. At the end of the First World War he emigrated to the United States, where he began a peripatetic career, working for a succession of advertising agencies and teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Although he did not invent industrial design, he popularised the term that applied to a rapidly expanding field blending art and technology. His often-quoted design philosophy was to ensure that an object was 'right in your eye and in your eye right'. He was himself a prolific designer of items as various as scales, hearing aids and typewriters, as well as packaging, trademarks and publications of all kinds. A founding member of the Society of Industrial Designers in 1944, he was widely regarded as one of the most influential in his field. When he died in 1975 his ashes were returned to New Zealand and scattered at a family property at Kerikeri.
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