Designing the Cars

By: Robert Baird

The art of designing the appearance of a vehicle is referred to as automotive design and it is of extreme importance in the present era where impressive external features are necessary and contribute extensively to ensure that a vehicle is adored by consumers and thus set cash registers ringing. It must be mentioned here, that the art of automotive design is applicable for not only automobiles and cars but also in case of heavier vehicles like trucks and vans and buses as well. It is the automotive engineers who play the most significant role in ensuring a perfect and adaptable design for a car and these designers are usually proficient in the field of art and industrial design. The concept of designing a vehicle is extremely important not only for giving it an attractive outer appearance but also at the same time it must be worked out bearing in mind the marketability of the car as well.

There are several facets of designing an automobile.

These include exterior designing and interior designing, graphic designs, color and trim design. External styling refers to the conceptualization of the outer appearance of the vehicle and the entire processing occurs after creating a sketch and then giving shape to the forms and surface of the car. The industrial plastiscine model is most significant in determining the design of a car. Interior styling refers to the art of giving full form to the internal components like door liners, pillar trims, seats etc. Different graphic representations like switches, dials, liveries are also conceptualized by the automotive designers. One of the most important constituents of car designing is applying the surface color which gives a proper look to the final appearance of the car.

It was in the early 1920s in the United States that Alfred. P. Sloan Jr. devised the art of creating car designs which would undergo changes annually. This was a result of the monotony in prevalent car designs over long periods of time which had resulted in the formation of a saturation point in the automobile market of the country. This process of replacing designs annually was popularly referred to by Sloan as 'dynamic obsolescence'. However, while this was a feature which could be adopted easily by the bigger automobile manufacturers, such regular re-styling was an expensive option for ht smaller manufacturers which therefore affected their sales adversely. In present times, the car designs are totally based on consumer demands.

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