Paul McCobb (1917–1969) stands out as one of the important American designers of the 1950s and 1960s, particularly known for his sleek and functional furniture designs. Perhaps the most well-known and successful of McCobb’s designs is the Planner series that, along with McCobb’s other influential furniture designs, is characterised by a simplicity of form, highlighted by thin lines and light yet sturdy structures. The distinctly modern designs were functional and approachable, ultimately making Planner one of the most popular furniture lines of the 1950s.
The Massachusetts-born designer originally worked with retail interiors and displays, but after becoming fascinated by furniture design he decided to move to New York to pursue a career in the industry, and in 1945, he established his own firm, Paul McCobb Design Associates. During his career, McCobb also designed dishware, watches and televisions, among other things, and worked as a design consultant for companies like Goodyear and Columbia Records as well as a teacher at Philadelphia Museum School of Art. A five-time winner of the prestigious Good Design Award bestowed by MoMa, Paul McCobb remains one of the most influential names of American mid-century modern design. Since 2018, some of McCobb’s most beloved designs have been reissued by companies like Fritz Hansen and Karakter Copenhagen.