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Emotional Car Design and Good Talents

Updated on January 8, 2017
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Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design, born in Italy he studied at Art Center College of Design in California.


Dear friends,

when we listen to talk about car design often we hear words like "cool, love it, hate it, beautiful car, sexy, muscle car, strong character, sad, happy, elegant, show off...." at etc.

What are we really talking about? It is clear to me that to describe the Design of a car is very subjective. However, it is something that has to go through our emotional inner part. Yes, we are talking about emotions!

If we read about client first choice to buy a car ( statistics ) we find that, very often, #1 choice is Design. Exterior Design first and Interior Design as the second choice. It is only in a second moment that real dimensions, function, engine performance, consumption etc. etc. come to the picture.

Good Design sells and for a small city car, as well as a sporty coupé, Design is equally ( almost ) emotional. Car design has to do with our emotions. Designers have strong taste and talent to provoke these emotions.

Fiat 500
Fiat 500

However; what do we mean about good taste and talented designers? It is clear that to make a good hot sketch or model does not mean we have an emotional good design yet. We understand that we have something really great when our heartbeat goes faster when the sight is breathtaking when we get a "coup de Coeur" as french people say.

The "coup de Coeur" design is something for which we fall in love without thinking, we just love it. We love that model's proportions, we love its side body sections and their reflections, we love the details, we love to touch that model surfaces, we imagine ourselves inside driving that car, we dream about it. We just feel too many positive emotions.

In this particular case, we do have a good example of tasty talented car design expression.

Bertone Lancia Stratos
Bertone Lancia Stratos
Reanult Twingo I
Reanult Twingo I

What does it take, to a designer, to produce such high work? Talent!

To be humble is an important value, to listen is important, to work hard is important. However; the most important factor is to have the talent, something that is inside of us since we were born. This talent is responsible for provoking in us a particular type of intuition, to make sure that our talent will perform well we have to feed it every day. It comes with the daily professional attitude of a designer, working hard with responsibility, sketching, searching, being curious and constantly training, never get tired to improve things, pay attention to details, too.

The proportions of a car model proposal are the most important element to have, no proportions no project. Once we have our model well set on wheels we need a strong and new design theme, something innovative and well balanced, at the end we need good details. The overall design has to be in harmony, it has to show immediately its message ( simple design, classic design, contemporary design, post-modern, advanced research ). The design has to be cohesive and give value to the company's brand image.

To generate an emotional design is not an easy task, it requires strong talent, courage, high professionality and good taste. We ( designers ) dream to produce at least one during our professional career life. We can all hope to do it or re-do it as long as we keep on working hard, being humble following our heart.

Renault Twin'Z
Renault Twin'Z | Source

© 2010 Luciano Bove


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      Sunny 2 years ago

      A little rationality lifts the quality of the debate here. Thanks for congributint!

    • profile image

      Lakisha 2 years ago

      This artcile went ahead and made my day.

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      Shanna 2 years ago

      The exsirtepe shines through. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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      ferrarikiran 5 years ago

      thnx luciano!! my dream being an automobile designer ,this was amazing!! i didnt know designing had rules and proper forms!! i promise to keep it in mind!! thnx again:)

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 5 years ago from Paris

      Thank you for your kind comments!

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      El LAV 5 years ago

      Hi Luciano,

      Indeed this was very feel put. I really do feel like it is an inspirational post, at least for me. As a new design student, I always look for inspiration everywhere so this is going in the books. The one thing I truly agree on is the fact that a great designer is always humble no matter how great they really are. I always remember that and I hold true to it.

      Anyways, thanks for the inspiration!

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      ashish 5 years ago

      hi luciano,well written blog..emotions are what connect people to cars..

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 6 years ago from Paris

      Thapelo thanks to you for reading.

    • profile image

      THAPELO 6 years ago


    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 7 years ago from Paris

      Dear Jim thank you for your message it is perfect all you wrote! Thanks again.

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      Jim Shook 7 years ago

      Every product (a car is a big complex product on wheels) has to functioin it's primary purpose. Beyond that it is the visual and emotional connection that brings satisfaction and desire to the user.

      The emotional content is huge. A good designer must first understand what kind of emotions are correct and appropriate for a specific product. This usually comes from good research into the emotional needs and desires of the user. Sometimes the designer needs to "lead" the user by awakening them to an emotional possibility that they had not previously considered.

      After setting the emotional goals (often expressed in the form of inspirational images and words) the designer must learn how to manipulate the design elements to achieve a specific emotional content.

      The design elements include

      1. Proportion (as Luciano mentioned):

      2. Line

      3. Direction

      4. Color

      5. Texture

      6. Form

      From these elements all things are designed. A designer needs to understand how to manipulate all of the elements together to achieve the desired emotion.

      A FAST LINE could be an accelerating curving line that is constantly changing and changing at a different rate (different readius) all along it's length. a SLOW LINE will likely be straight and unchanging or have a constant (un-changing)radius.

      A FAST PROPORTION would be one that is longer in one direction than another. A SLOW (or SAFE)proporion will be one that is equal in length and width.

      A REFINED TEXTURE will be one that is highly polished and finely finished. An UNREFINED (AGRESSIVE) TEXTURE will be course and have large openings and spaces and may possibly be irregular in finish and spacing.

      A "SAFE" FORM will likely be symmetrical and unchanging and based on symemetrical primitive forms like spheres or cubes. An "AGRESSIVE OR UNSAFE" FORM may have changing and extended lines and proportions that make it look unstable and unpredictable.

      Etc. Etc. Etc.

      If a designer can learn to manipulate the individual design elements to achieve specific emotional affects then they can intelligently design a whole car with a specific emotional content and they will be able to articulate to their clients how and why they did what they did to achieve the desired emotional design.

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      Luciano Bove 7 years ago from Paris

      Dear Pamela and Magenta Sunrise,

      thanks for commenting my hub. Pamela it takes a lot of talent and sacrifice , too. Just think all the frustration we go untill that day we finally make it! But it is also the fun of it...

      Big hungry corporations have the money to invest on important transportation programs so it is mainly for them that car designers work. however there are many smaller realities in which designers can express themselves on different and more exciting projects...example working for important smaller design companies like Pininfarina or Italdesign as well as many others around the world.

    • magenta sunrise profile image

      magenta sunrise 7 years ago from cape town, south africa

      Hello Luciano63, i think that designers have to be really talented to produce designs that elicit positive emotions. However, i also think that these especially talented designers should use their powers for good, not for lining the pockets of money-hungry global corporations.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      I would love to jump into that red Ferrari and drive it home, however, it's not in the cards right now. Nice hub on the emotional design of a car. I never thought of it that way.