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QOTD: Should Design Be Consistent Across Manufacturers?

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CAR MAINTENANCE | AUTO REPAIR | MECHANIC ADVICE - QOTD: Should Design Be Consistent Across Manufacturers?


Let me begin this out with an auto-writer pet peeve of mine: I hate the phrase “design language.” I’ve since I began working in automotive media in 2007. I’m not positive why — it’s most likely simply an excessive amount of PR/company communicate for me.

I’ve banned that phrase from this website by way of our inner type information (though I’m positive it slips by generally. Please don’t play “gotcha” and @ me with examples), and continually prevented utilizing it for over 13 years, even when that’s result in some awkward phrasing in its stead.

Factor is, there’s a cause why nearly each OEM makes use of it.

That’s as a result of they wish to convey a model identification — they need all their automobiles and trucks, throughout all class sizes and market segments, to be immediately recognizable as belonging to that model. That’s true even with autos which have standout seems or have a historic pattern to observe (Mustang, Wrangler, Corvette, et cetera). Even distinctive automobiles get some feature — badging, grille form, lighting design — that reminds you what model the car is.

In different phrases, the Mustang has at all times stood out from different Fords, or the Corvette from different Chevrolets, however there’s normally one thing that ties the car to the model. Even when the admittedly unlikely occasion you didn’t already know Ford offered the Mustang or Chevy the ‘Vette, you’d most likely determine it out.

That’s usually been the best way of the automotive world. OEMs share widespread styling components — grilles, lighting, wheels, even the final form — throughout lineups so that buyers make the connection between mannequin and make.

This works best with autos that aren’t iconic just like the Corvette. Non-car folks won’t know what a Fusion is, however they could comprehend it’s a Ford by way of the grille, even when the Blue-Oval badge was lacking.

Enter the following Nissan Frontier. Unveiled Thursday, its grille jogs my memory of its massive sibling, the Titan. And that doesn’t shock me within the least.

The query is, is it higher for manufacturers to try for consistency throughout the board, or ought to manufacturers work to distinguish fashions of various size/section/sort greater than they do?

Clearly, prices/regulation play an element right here, too. However let’s fake that they didn’t for a second. Simply from a purely philosophical perspective — is it higher for a model to have consistency throughout the road? In order that the surface observer who doesn’t know a spark plug from a piston can inform that they’re seeing a Nissan drive by? Or would manufacturers best be served by permitting creativity to circulate from section to section and mannequin to mannequin?

Reply beneath, people.

[Image: Nissan]

– QOTD: Should Design Be Consistent Across Manufacturers? –

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