How did you feel when you first saw your car, truck or SUV? There’s a reason some cars and trucks are totally cool to look at (you know, all Ford vehicles!), while others are completely forgettable. It has a lot to do with how the designer approaches the subject. In the case of Ford Motor Company Designer Anthony Prozzi, who was formerly a fashion designer for Donna Karen, it doesn’t matter whether it’s clothing or a vehicle, the principles remain the same.
Anthony says first and foremost, a designer should look to the silhouette, shape and proportion, and also the message that needs to be conveyed. “That’s why a Mustang looks like a Mustang, or a truck has to say ‘tough,’” he explained. “Cars like the Fiesta or Fusion transmit other statements. Fiesta says, smart, urban, really cool and hip, while Fusion says the same, but in a more upscale sort of way.” The power of that design gives you your first impression, that emotional connection.
Yet it’s not just the designer who has a say in how a vehicle will look. You do, too! Anthony relies on his design team, but also on focus groups to learn about trends within the buying public. “How does this translate to the values that these people are adapting and how do you take all that information and then transform it into a three-dimensional object that they can drive, sense, touch, feel, smell?” he said. Take the Focus, for example. The surfaces, nuances and textures as well as the mix of materials are what make the design exciting. “We’re taking it to a whole new level; we’re really getting inside people’s thoughts and even when they can’t say what they want, we know what they want and we can give it to them,” he revealed.
What about the future of vehicle design? For that, simply look at what’s happening globally. “Things need to be made from materials that are sustainable, that are not just eco, but what I’m terming Eco Superior,” Anthony said. “That we can take all these ideas and produce a product that’s even better because it’s electric or because it’s hybrid and because it’s made out of recycled materials and materials that don’t pollute.”