Saturday, March 14, 2015

Car Design: The Package Design

Image from H-Point book

 Dear friends,
how many times did we start a new project just by sketching a lot and then choosing a nice one and decide that that sketch will become our concept choice? I guess many times, we all did and do. It is part of our brainstorming stage after we receive our new project briefing.

 However today I would like to tell you a bit about how important is the Package Technical Layout we usually receive with our briefing.
 Often we talk about nice "proportions" or the research for new proportions to try a break through, the objective is to realize a real new concept that does not have anything to do with classical car proportions (specially in design school).

Images from H-Point Book
How is it at work? How do we start in a real design studio?
We do receive our Package Design and we must do our best to respect it because it envolves 2 main factors: Human Factors (Ergonomy) & Production Costs!

 So now you might think that there is no hope to change proportions unless we force the company to revise the budget with the high risk to have our proposal rejected. It could be, but it all depends on how you manage your other words what type of design strategy do you apply to make something new respecting technical and cost/budget demands?

There are basically two ways to do it:

I do what I like!
I do my sketch development I choose my concept I do it and after someone will try to apply my concept to all technical/cost requests to make sure to respect game rules.
This strategy very often is a loosing one because even if you made an excellent design execution the all company system will be against because of the high conflicts it will generate within all teams (engineers-ergonomy experts-technical experts-suppliers involved....).
You will become probably soon tired to argue and a lot frustrated, for your boss the project management will become politically complicated and when politics at some levels is complicated it means that your attitude becomes a problem, too!

My strong advice is: do not do it! People will call you "the artist" and believe me it is not a compliment ;), do not forget that you have to manage your project but also your possible career which means how you are what type of respect you build  from others to you and viceversa.

I live with the Hard Points because thanks to them I can do real Design!
This is the design strategy I love and I explain the reasons.
Rule N° 1: I Design around people for people and their confort
Rule N° 2: I believe that with my Design I'll improve those people's life
Rule N° 3: I know which are the technical layout weak points (often proportions) and I'll help the technical team to share several alternative options to improve their work without provoking a higher project cost!

To do so I must be interested and curious about how they (technical departement) think and what technologies we can use to make the car. I understand a technical drawing and I can discuss technical aspects using my "creativity" pushing them to be more creative and alternative to the standard layout they usually use. Let's work on their sections and share with them our body sections or cutlines, what is the problem? Let's find several solutions. This is Problem Solving management.

In other words it is a team work, I'll act giving value to their work and giving value to mine pushing them to "redesign technically" some aspects of the original layout.

I will make Alias models to show them I respect their Hard Points, I show how my sections are better if they change few millimeters here and there, or if they accept to change their front structure with a similar solution that does not cost higher but that gives me a better arounded top section.....I do benchmarking showing how other competitors had a better solution and what we could do...

I know that at the beginning of our car designer career we do not know all this and we are not exposed to those type of professional meetings and responsabilities, however I believe it is very important for all of you to know soon enough that Design strategy and Design project management can be the most important thing to do well in order to make great designs and defend them untill production.

Hope it was useful to you!

2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Car sketches and illustrations by Grigory Bars

Couopé sketch by Grigory Bars via Grigory Design Blog

Dear friends,

it is more than few months that I keep watching with great interest Grigory's work via his profile on Facebook.

Please check his blog to see lots more and also his portfolio (on the right side of blog page).

Click: Grigory Bars Design blog

-2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment Detroit Contest

Dear friends,

here we have a super cool Sketch-battle Contest organized by Middlecott & AACS in Detroit! Let's participate you still have some time, here the rules and all infos to know when and where send your drawings:

Just Click: The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment application Form!

Have fun!

-2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Sketching cars is a matter of exercise!

Sketch via
Some time ago designer Spencer Nugent, from, wrote a post about how to develop our drawing skills. As example he published the blu line sketch which was one of his first attempt to sketch a car in perspective. Recently he tried to reinterprated the same sketch with his actual professionality and using an IPad by Apple. He used his drawings to express his vision about how to learn drawing cars.
His comments in the post found me completely in harmony with his vision because he is right! To draw well, to get such professional level we MUST draw a lot. As simple as this, the continuous trainig gives us, on the long run, a way to improve strongly our skills. When I was in design school, some time ago, I had all my teachers always saying " learn with the only way to become a good designer with solid bases is to keep on drawing over and over until you get sick of it!"

Now, why do I want to write about this aspect of our profession? Because I still see, during my design schools visits, students that are happy with few extra sketches for their presentation without realizing that their drawing level ability stays costant! They improve when the end of academic year is close (may and june), however the time left is too short for a real final quality sprint.
Many students send me their mini portfolios via email for an evaluation and very often, as I usually do, I give a feed back mostly about their weak points. On top of the list there is always a "lack of quality sketching" and to me this is given by lack of exercise!
I know that some design schools are less demanding than others, BUT! Are we doing this for the school, the grade or for our future? So to avoid to finish school and be forced to re-do a big part of your portfolio before getting a job you better work hard at school sketching a lot with method and discipline to make sure you can improve your skills to a very performing level.
At my school time we did not have internet and our only reference to compare ourself were our collegues at school and few magazines with nice with internet you have lots of references (my blog for example or all facebook pages about car design like "Car Design Insight" to compare yourself and understand if you are qualified with your work's excuse!
From october to april some students just waste a precious time to build their skills improvement and when some of them, in some design schools, get their diploma...the quality portfolio remains a dream. Result is: you are not ready to search for a designer job because your book does not have a high competitive level.
Got the point? What are you waiting for? Go back to drawing!2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Digital Car Design and portfolio

Barco room at PSA Design Center via

Dear friends,

I am starting to receive via email some digital virtual 3D portfolios asking for a feedback. Mainly are portfolios sent by DSK-ISD design school in India and I am very happy to see them and answer back with an honest feedback and with a costructive critic.
To me it is a good thing that design schools seriously start forming young designers to learn and become passionate about the fascinating virtual 3D design world, design studios around the wordl need such professional profiles because virtual technologies are getting more important day by day into the design process. Autodesk and Maya 3DMAX softwares are very popular just like others like Rhino....
Back in 1996, when I was Chair of Transportation Design Dpt at Istituto Europeo of Design in Turin italy, I also tried to start forming this type of profile "the virtual 3D modeler or sculptor". Finally today almost all schools try better to accomplish this task.
Maya surface modeling
See all 7 photos
Maya surface modeling
Source: Ruben Martins art blog
So, as I said, I receive those mini portfolios and I see that everybody is very happy to show their academic projects one by one to communicate their abilities and skills in modeling from a product like a watch until a more complex thing like a full car. Later in their books I find also nice rendering showing the final stage which is presenting their finished works with flash and lights!
The question is what is not working in all of them? Or , for better saying, what could they do to make their portfolios more personalized and most of all great knocking portfolios?
My opinion is:
I believe that today to get a job, in a very difficult period such as the economic crisis wich contracted dramatically job offers around the world, every student should try to have a real strong portfolio with which demonstrate that they are the right hiring choice and not someone else. In other words competition is becoming higher and tighter so to have good skills is not anymore enough. We need more to pass the difficult selection and be the one that will be hired.
What to do for those digital 3D portfolios?
You guys have to push your limits! You know that you can model, you know that you can shade and you have to pass to a higher level by using your creative talent to make superb rendering illustrations.
Here in this hub I choose some images to make myself clearer, you need to develop a sensibility to choose the right spot light the right perspective to organize a cool composition on page (this comes from your illustration classes) you need to choose cool typeface if you write on your images, you need to moderate your warm and cool light and color choices, you have to express energy and seduction , you need to orientate well your room or scenario lights to play with shadows, your images must be sexy...yes sexy! You gona be proud of your images!
Now i am sure your teachers give you these tips, but you do not follow up because you are concentrated on your modeling ability...this is a mistake and a strategic one.

How does it work in a real design studio?

Generally when I have to follow a new project and get to the 3D modelig stage I look always for one of our best digital modeler because I know that he works very well, he is flexible, he has taste (he can help me) and he knows how to make great virtual images to help me in selling my project using the emotional quality of his images.
So in your digital 3D modeling portfolio you should do the same! You have to organize your design modeling process starting from modeling, shading, rendering and final presentation hot images.
You have also to think that your portfolio has to provoke curiosity so have a good amountof different type of projects, have some nice designed products, different type of transportation design projects, and if you really want to be super hot make a short video with your 3D data something like 1 minute time nice music and cool animation.
I hope I was clear explaining my point of view and I hope that it will help you!

Luciano Bove
2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas presents for a car design student :)

Photo via Nice Things

Dear friends,

it is Christmas and for sure you are thinking about presents to buy or to receive. Here a selection I made for you:

Drawing tools

Color Pencils Prismacolor 72 or Prismacolor 132

Pencil sharpener

Draw Pencils Set

Prismacolor Nupastel Color Chalk 

Copic Markers 36

Drawing Paper

Ellipses Template Set (for your wheels)

Ship Curves Set (for your line quality)

Wacom Tablet for digital drawing (beginners)

You will see that prices are not really expensive but if you want to have some good materials and tools you can start with some of those.

Merry Christmas to you!

-2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 19, 2014

Automotive business: changing brand image

It takes guts, talent, passion, vision, leadership to head a design team in automobile industry to change a brand image!

Yes it is not just like guiding a designers team for some projects, it is a lot more. We are talking about a new story to tell, a convincing one, followed by the right products to inject into markets and have success.
We are talking about what it takes to be the right design leader to change a brand image in automotive design. In the last 20 years we saw several big personalities to operate for such a task with great success giving to the companies, for which they were or are working, the right alternative design philosophy to provoke a fresh rebirth guiding new style design tactics and operations.
Patrick le Quement former head of Renault Design
The role of VP Design brand operations is the highest design position any designer hopes to rich one day, it is a place only for few because of the particular type of task. It requires a bit of crazyness, lots of courage, method, discipline, culture, today international experience, the right working experience background, managerial skills, and lots of creative talent.
This job role is also at high risk, it is well payed but do not forget that the boss often is the N°2 or N°1 of the company which means at the second mistake you are out!

Chris Bangle former head of design for Fiat & BMW 
I wrote about crazyness and lots of courage. Yes it is so, if you are in the position of dusting off an old classic brand which is having hard time to compete with an agressive need to re invent the story even if respecting the historical background of that company.
BMW is a good example. The magic effect has to be provoked wisely, the electric shock for the market is going to be vital even if the fedel market will be a bit surprised by the change. What it counts is how you can conquist new markets, how you can improve the design and quality product appeal to people never thought to buy that product!
In this particular case there is a higher risk of missing the objectif, but if you are enough crazy and talented chances are you'll make it...because you felt it that way and played the game all the way!
Attention! This design strategy is a bit like taking can work well and make you feel on top of the world, however it can also kill you with incredible stress to manage because of internal political affairs. It is not about designers team...mostly it is about politics.
Laurens van den Acker Head of Renault Design
The new story to tell and illustrate has to be strong, the message has to hit positively people, strong and (sexy) appealing. In some cases it is better to make the message grow correctly inside and outside the company to let people absorbe it, understand it and appreciate it.
Some concept cars teasers are best way to make that message and story very democratic, richable to everybody and today with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube channels and all comments we understand if the story is appreciate or not. Make regular happenings in this sense is a good strategy, keep high the attention and curiosity for what is going to happen next. the story is shared and we are waiting for next episode.
I believe that the key word for all this is " emotions", in car design you need emotions applied to wise products to motivate people, to shake them. Renault is a great example!
Walter De Silva Head of all VW Group Design operations
Now that we wrote all this we could end this short Hub about New Brand Image stategy by saying that naturally it can happen if you have the dream team....not really! It can happen if you are able to make everybody work in harmony even if you do not have the dream team, what it counts is how much you are able to take out of your designers modelers managers the talent they have to produce the right products you would like to get. Get out of them the best they have to give.
The people in the photos are a good example of higly talented designers and design managers capable to do it...because they did or are doing it!
2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Great Car Sketch Books

Dear friends,

some of you via Facebook or via email ask me what type of books or other references to buy in order to improve in drawing cars before getting to design school. It is quite a good question that deserves a good answer to make sure not to loose money but spend it well, objectif is get the right references to learn by yourself getting an advantage before starting your design school course.
So here some books I selected for you according to Sketching (how to start to sketch a car or a product), Rendering & Illustration techniques.
How to Draw Cars Now by Driven Mavens is the latest excellent DVD by this author, here with him you will see the great drawing and rendering techniques I love the most. True way to take your pencils and markers and chalks to make unbelievable car sketches and drawing, you will learn step by step how to do and thanks to the DVD format you can replay back to make sure you understood correctly how to do. This is a good one!

H-Point 1 and H-Point 2 is a great book to learn fundamentals of drawing cars, it is about proportions and packaging, line drawing quality, basic drawing exercises to be able to sketch first car shapes.
The book has been done by some Art Center College of Design school teachers and designer professionals like Geoff Wardle, Stuart Macey, Ralph Gilles, Freeman Thomas, Gordon Murray.
To me this book is a must to have!
Sketching The Basics is a book that explanes how to sketch properly products & cars, the book has been written by Roselien Steur and Koos Eissen (UMEA University Sweden and Delft University of Technology ).
This book is important because shows how to use perspective and drawing basic techniques to draw simple and complex shapes. In this book also first rules to use color like simple shadings and markers.

This book is a very popular one How to Draw Cars like a Pro written by Ian Callum and Ryan Borroff, Tony Lewin. In this book you will also find some fundamentals but rather about Design, nice photos of some celeb Concept Cars with their designers and design strategy philosophy about how to make a design project from sketches to concept prototype.

This book I Draw Cars Sketchbook ; Reference Guide is very important to check because it also has all sort of sketches to explane simple exercises to learn how to draw and sketch cars.
The author Matt Marrocco is a professional designer very famous on the net specially on Facebook look for him on FB, too!

Cosmic Motors by Daniel Simon is a must for all those that love rendering illustration digital art, Daniel Simon is the new Syd Mead.
This is the book in which you will discover the science fiction art & design world with lots of car designs, very exciting book super well done and a great guide for those addicted to digital art.

How to Draw & How to Render by Scot Robertson is a must to have to learn how to draw about anything following the right method.
Scot Robertson is a real master design educator very famous for his workshops, lectures and tutorial books.

I guess I wrote about some important books (and one DVD) to guide us in the learning process of sketching cars, it is important to buy some of those books specially for those that do not go to a design school.
For example all students of engineering universities dreaming to go for a Transportation Design Master after their University.
With the right book and a lot of exercise you can catch up and improve.
2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Design project presentation: graphic content & design must match!

Project presentation sample by Victor Uribe Chacon
Dear friends,

this past week I was involved with two design schools presentations. The first one via Skype because I could not be for that date in the school and it was about a degree final. The second one was a real midterm sponsored project review in school with two student teams presenting to me a colleague of mines and their teacher.

Two different schools based in different countries.

Today my message to all of you is: Graphic content and Design content must match! 

Are you alone with your presentation in front of an audience or are you in a team of 3 or 5 you have the same responsibilities in making sure that what you say is perfectly cohesive with your design development and final choices.

The oral development is what you will tell.

Your story, scenario, telling is developed by an objective to accomplish. That is your first strong message...straight, simple and clear. 

"Good morning I am here today to present to you a new mobility system to solve future traffic problems."


"Due to strong social changes here an answer to tomorrow in town mobility & infrastructure"

In both cases it is clear what we will discover in that presentation it is your "strong message". You will start with your benchmarking studies, some statistic facts and some photos illustrating today's unsolved problems...then you will start talking about your design project development starting from few samples of your brainstorming to arrive naturally to your final design renderings, models,scenarios etc etc

This is your "body" the part during which you will explain how you reason and how with your talent and creativity you try to give an answer to the given project breafing.

Your body has to be short because generally people after few minutes of explanation start sleeping or loosing attention and of course you do not want that happening to you! So short and clear, you must have an outstanding graphic skills presentation to capture their attention on your drawings and design.

So, after this part, we get to the end which will re-talk about your introduction message to reinforce your the end of any presentation generally people wake up so they will be there to get the end. It will be your "strong conclusion".

The Graphic and design/drawings what they see.

The oral and the graphic must match because the message must be the same and make everybody happy eliminating doubts or uncomfortable critics or disagreements. If you talk about a "simple design elements to show a light perceived design expression" you will never show a single sketch or renderings with complicated and tortured volumes or tons of little details because you liked that drawing!

Your Visual Communication also has to be simple and clear (how you will organize your slides or boards).

Remember you have to assume responsability for what you put up on the wall, from that moment it is you, your project against your audience. You must win, you want all clapping hands at the end complimenting with obtain that the magic word is "cohesiveness".Before deciding what is in your presentation take the time with honesty to check many times the content of your slides or printed boards, check the order, do everything you can to make sure that when you will attack with your intro to go to your body and finish with your conclusion everything will be just fine.

Good luck!

Please visit designer Victor Uribe Chacon's blog for great samples to follow.

2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mondial de l'Automobile 2014 photos by Daniele Madia - pure Design experience

Renault EOLAB Concept - photo by Daniele Madia
Dear friends,

how many of you had the opportunity to go visit last Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris 2014? I know not many and even when we have that great chance to go we visit during public days which means lots of people and difficulty to see and admire our favorite cars.

It is not my case because we visit during Press days and we do have the chance to get in and out of those beautiful cars.

However I have a very good Italian friend who is a professional photographer and in love with car Design, he is also official photographer on F1 circuits. He is Daniele Madia.

Daniele made a series of incredible beautiful pictures about all cars present at the show and of course by his expert eyes it is very emotional to see what he saw!

So please go to his website and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!

Click: DaniPhotoDesign Paris Auto Show 2014 and enjoy the show ;)

-2006-2012 Http:// All Rights Reserved

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...