Styling was most common in architecture, interior design, poster art, furniture, jeweler, textiles, fashion and industrial design, although it was also applied to the visual arts such as painting, and graphics. Its products included both individually crafted luxury items but, in either case, the intention was to create a sleek and anti-traditional elegance that symbolized wealth and sophistication.
The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look, ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; and unusually varied, often expensive materials, which frequently include man-made substances (plastics, glass, etc.) in addition to natural ones (jade, silver, ivory, obsidian, chrome, and rock crystal). The characteristic features of the style reflected admiration for the modernity of the machine and for the inherent design qualities of machine-made objects (relative simplicity, planarity, symmetry, and unvaried repetition of elements).
Decorative ideas came from American Indian, Egyptian, and early classical sources as well as from nature. Characteristic motifs included nude female figures, animals, foliage, and sun rays, all in conventionalized forms.
Examples of inspiration for the architecture style for the buildings came from the art style art deco. Some cities in USA took part in the latest art fad New York City’s Rockefeller Center built between 1929 and 1940, the Chrysler Building by William Van Allen, and the Empire State Building by Shreve. Even in the 1930s the style took over South Beach in Miami, Florida, producing an area known as the Art Deco historic district.
Although the style went out of fashion in most places during World War II, beginning in the late 1960s there was a renewed interest in Art Deco design. Into the 21st century Art Deco continued to be a source of inspiration in such areas as decorative art and fashion and jewelry design.