Drawing a sports car or making it look super BAD, requires that you understand the key basics and fundamentals in automotive design and construction. So what does that mean? Well let’s start with the fundamental question that I get asked often when it comes to car design.
How do you create the perfect car?
Ok…so here is the good part. Below is a video I created to sort of illustrate how to follow guidelines to help you design a sweet ride. I take a couple of my favorite OEMS whom I feel in my opinion, have got the JUICE and know how to design a compelling car.
It’s a loaded question and very difficult to answer because the next question to ask is ”what is the perfect car?” The fact of the matter is no car is totally without issues or problems and most designs and what people feel about them is completely subjective.
The regular Joe may look at a car and say “that is completely bad-ass!” or ”that car is ugly as sin” but may not exactly know why. That is the job of the designer.
Mass appeal is the key here. You don’t have to satisfy everyone….but enough of your targeted audience. Though design is subjective, a design must be compelling enough to elicit a emotionally positive response from their critical audience. However, trying to understand that MAGIC formula that says…if you follow steps 1…2….3….you will have a WINNER…… is impossible. If it were that easy, everyone would have a hit!
Now wait a minute…..that does not mean that we cannot follow certain guidelines and principles in design. Because without these guidelines, you surely increase your chances of someone wanting hurl when they see your design.
So what are some of these guidelines?
1. Proportion – Is the proportion appropriate for the type of car? i.e. Sports cars vs Sedans vs Trucks. Each has a different wheel base configuration dictated by the amount of volume and space the vehicle is to occupy. This is why we use the wheel as our baseline measurement for the length, width, and height of the car. For instance you can’t design a truck with tiny little 12 inch wheels spaced 2 wheels apart. Trucks are supposed to be large muscular beasts that can plow over your little Lotus Elise.
2. Stance – What is the body language of the car? What does it communicate to you upon its first impression? If you are looking at a sports car, does it communicate speed even when stationary? If you are looking at a truck, does it look muscular and stable? What sort of presence does the car convey? So stance is somewhat like the vehicles poise.
3. Graphical Impact – What sort of graphic do the cut-lines, seams, Day Light Opening(DLO) convey? Do the lines and curves have a purpose. Looking at some of the most compelling designs out there, I am in the opinion that the combination of graphic art and styling play a considerable role in the overall aesthetic success of a vehicle.
4. Unity – From an aesthetic standpoint, do all the design elements look unified or segregated? Do the graphical details, shapes, and other design elements relate to each other?(interior and exterior)
5. Simplicity – Understanding the “less is more” value proposition. It’s not to say that you need to design a box…..because that is simple….and also not what I meant. It’s making sure that the forms created are not overly complicated. All the forms and surfaces should compliment each other but not so much that it distracts it’s audience with too much cluttered details.
In conclusion, the total experience involves not only the exterior design(which get’s people to open the door) but also the design and your experience in the interior! We’ll save that for another post so stay tuned. Remember….gives us your thoughts on the subject.
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