Car brochures are excellent sources of inspiration for new trends in design and photography. In this article we will focus on different brands from various countries and observe the cultural contrasts.
Citroën – France
I was amazed from the radical design change that Citroën made recently. Citroën is really trying to make trends and take luxury objects styles to the car design. The new DS4 is one of the best examples.
Brown is back! Look at this brownish color with a pattern repeating and the DS4 logo merged into the pattern. It looks stylish, elegant fashionable, sophisticated and modern.
This car is a city car and in the background there is a city by nearly night. Giving those beautiful red colors. The car in contrast is white and shiny. The parking is empty to get the emphasis on the car.
This photo could be in the morning in the heart of an empty city. Again this brownish color produces a really sophisticated design. Looking back in time I cannot remember brown cars that get this luxury feeling.
Up front, the leather dashboard is borrowed from the DS4 small sister the C4, but the whole interior acquires exclusive materials and finishes. Door handles include a DS logo and leather seat squabs, inspired shaped by watchstraps.
Example of watchstraps
The general impression I got is that this brochure really looks professional, with a good choice of fonts, colors and proportions.
Mini – United Kingdom (Germany too)
First just watch the picture. In the foreground the 4 minis in a city (city car) in the background mountains, which means escape from the city and have fun in country-laning roads.
Now look at the 4 positions of the minis. The green car that is a kind of a break shows his backside so you directly see it is a break. The same goes for the convertible that is slightly turned to the right. It is also red to attract attention and it is the opposite color in the color spectrum of green. The third one is the classic one, black so that the red one shines better because a convertible is a symbol of freedom. Finally the fourth car is blue again to attract the eye, as it is also a new model. As you may guess it is really turned to the right in order to show 2 doors (family) and higher (feeling of secureness)
First time I see rain in a car brochure and it looks amazing.
Mini at night, flashy neon colors, people making party on sidewalk. With a Mini you are an attraction at night, you do not have to hide your car because your are “in”.
The Countryman shows that it is capable of an escapade in the mountains. The picture is balanced, as on the left as well as on the right there is white. Left the sky and right the car.
Audi – Germany
Audi is typical example of German perfectionism. The first page of the brochures reveals the pace. The brochure is pure, clean, professional, perfect proportions and straight to the point. Audi is written in red and the wall near the sidewalk too. Repeating the red color and gives a dynamic to the picture. The rest of the picture is grayish and bluish, which gives a perception of professionalism and pureness.
Cubic shapes, modern architecture, still a round bowl in contrast to the straight but rounded shapes of the car. Red garage door evokes passion and it is also contrasting the blue color of the house entrance. A mix of sportiveness and a secureness which is important for families.
Simple picture explaining how the open sky works, with a textual explanation at the right with 3 additional pictures. Always this clean, rigid and professional design.
Fiat – Italy
2 cars the 500 and the 500c, c for convertible. It reminds me a bit of the yin yang, the front window (nearly black at the top of white car) and the same front window at the bottom of red car. Again Fiat logo is red such as the 500c. Good choice of colors.
Fiat 500 are happy and different cars. A bit like the Mini but the Mini is more “serious” and “perfect (German inside)” opposed to the more round forms of the fiat which evokes more fun and happiness.
Wife is walking with the dog and man just taking a sunbath and relaxing in the car. Nobody around this place and the city (=stress) is far away.
Here we see that both cars are also night cars, to make party and be stylish. The mini is subtler in this game. Italians are more direct people
Vivid colors showing that with this car you will be happy. It is a fun car.
Every car is different and suits different needs, which is normal. You could now compare this brochure to websites and discover similarities. Colors, shapes, contrast and proportion are different depending on what feeling we want to give. Feelings are what we see most on these brochures. Cars are bought on emotion not rational decisions. Web-design should also evoke feelings, not only the product itself. Product pages should be more adapted to the product, so the user can imagine how cool it would be to use that product.