The Shape of it All: Body Lines

Welcome to the Shape of it All, a weekly article series about the design of cars. In the coming weeks, Ill be discussing everything that builds a car into the pieces of artwork that I seem them as.



When someone has asked what I enjoy in cars, as all they are meant for is to be the A to B tool, I tell them it's rolling artwork. And while most people who ask me this question don't understand that response, they haven't opened their mind to the idea. This is often questioned by someone who believes that the definition of art is to be nothing other than to exist as something to look at, a painting on the wall for example.

The simple answer to this is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I do agree that a car is not the conventional form of art. Especially the thought of spending thousands of dollars on this art piece only to drive it in close quarters to hundreds of people that don't care about your car anymore than they care about the light post they pass by.

But it's the body lines. The way that light flows over the surface. The different colour tones. And particularly the headlights, yes I know that one's weird. But headlights set the mood of a car, and it's so easy to modify them and come out with a completely different mood.

The old sealed beam headlights were a bit bland, but could be made interesting. As when they were common in the 80s, flip up headlights were popular. With flip ups, you can have them down to blend in with whatever body line you want to give it, you could have a one eye open (one up one down), or both half up. Seems simple, but character is found in the details.

Yeah I have an obsession with headlights, but as you'll find in my graphic design and in the photos I do, I obsess over the details. With my vector designs I spend just as long on the headlights as I do with the rest of the car.

A car is boring without character.. The easiest way to decide whether or not you own the right car is if, when you park it and walk away, whether you look back at it or not. Whenever Shane sees his car, he has an overwhelming excitement over his FB RX7, and will tell everyone around him. Thats where the design of a car makes the difference, the driving dynamics play a big part in the fun of driving, but the design is where the excitement comes from when you see them.

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OpinionJordan Wickett