This is the jargon of car designers: from fastback to graphics

back quickly:

This term for car bodies dates back to before the Second World War, when car manufacturers first began to optimize aerodynamics. Long roofs that slope down to the trunk of a car provide significant aerodynamic advantages. That fastbackform gives cars a dynamic appearance and through its aerodynamic effect we see fastback as an application nowadays more and more, especially in electric cars.

Niels van Roij episode 4

Idioms:

Once the fundamentals of car design are established, there are an infinite number of idioms to apply: soft, hard, geometric, angular, organic, product-like, and so on. Between two arbitrary lines it is possible to create a large number of potential skin types: the so-called coating.

For example, cars with the same platform and proportions can have very different design languages. Citroën C5 Aircross and Opel Grandland share a platform. The C5 Aircross uses a soft idiom, Grandland is harder, more linear and precise – more Germanic you could say. Within the many segments manufacturers operate in today, the biggest difference in design is generally the surface language used: the idiom of coating. Since chassis are split and shapes move more towards each other due to safety requirements, manufacturing options and aerodynamic optimizations, the difference in base volumes and proportions is often relatively small. The character of the brand and model is therefore mainly shaped by the surface language and graphic elements used.

Representing complex surfaces and changes in direction, highlights and shadows in a 2D sketch is one of the most important talents automotive designers need to develop idiom. The sketch is then developed in 3D. Refining the surfaces and controlling bright lines across the body surface is a difficult task for the exterior design team, and this stage is largely done in 3D on the computer. Often working in clay on scale models or full scale models at the same time to create idiom to be able to judge in the right light and (eventually) in full scale. Creation of idiom is iterative: three steps forward and one back, the whole becomes more and more balanced and perfected. The development of idiom is complicated and constitutes the most important part of the design process in the automotive design studio.

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Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

G

Graphics:

Like muscles, the 3D shape above an animal’s bones defines it graphics (the graphic expressions) the beast’s ultimate identity: the graphic expression of a tiger’s eyes tells you if everything is still safe or if you really need to run. A subtle focus or relaxation around the eyes makes only a few millimeters of difference, but we will immediately notice those millimeters in a face. The same goes for a car’s face: grills, grilles, front and rear lights, window shapes and part lines are all part of the graphics of a car. They are applied to the design when the bottom surfaces, it coatingare more advanced in the process.

But graphics go far beyond bars and windows. Breaking down the underlying shape using color is a very literal use of graphics on a car. Whether it’s two-tone paint on a Rolls-Royce, a contrasting color on the roof of a MINI, a touring car on a Bentley, the Volkswagen emblem on the nose of a VW ID Buzz or the black wheel arch trim on a Defender: the purpose of these graphic elements are to break up the surfaces. They help create more visual impact and determine how we read the design. is often graphics also used to distract the eye. For example, to hide visual weight in a design.

The previously processed Down the Road graphics is naturally part of graphics. Like people and animals, a car has a face, where the lamps are the eyes and the central grille is the focal point, the mouth.

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Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Greenhouse:

The glass surfaces of the body joined together to form greenhouse of the car. The windscreen and rear window are traditionally less prominent than the side windows, which are also DLO called. There are of course exceptions to the rule that the windscreen and rear window are less prominent. The so-called dog leg that Kia has applied to various cars and the unique shapes on the glass surface in the Renault Espace are good examples of this.

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Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roij episode 4

Niels van Roy

Niels van Roy

Columnist/Writer

With his car design studio, Niels van Roij focuses on coachbuilding and has, among other things, designed the Model SB, Adventum Coupe, Silver Specter Shooting Brake, Breadvan Hommage and Daytona Shooting Brake Hommage. He is also co-owner of Heritage Customs, which carries out refinishing work on the new Land Rover Defender.

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