Journal: Here’s Why Modern Car Brochures Suffer From A Lack Of Style

Here’s Why Modern Car Brochures Suffer From A Lack Of Style

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
November 19, 2015
7 comments

Many print-focused publications have found themselves in a death spiral of declining readership and, in turn, ad dollars, website views…it’s bad news, pun intended. While headlines are earned by huge media companies, this spiral touches everything—even the humble car brochure.

When’s the last time you weren’t asked to download a .pdf to read a car brochure? Or directed to a dark corner of a dealership, any dealership, only to find a stack of out-of-date accessories booklets from 2006?

I hear you can hook up your iPod, now.

Print can be special, when it is special. Quite a few remarkable independent publications hit our offices, jaw-droppingly good ones, and it’s like, “Why don’t automakers produce compelling material on their products?” 

We’re “post-brochure”, if you will. Maybe collaborating with talented artists and illustrators (like the ones stuck deep within design departments) on high-quality, limited-run books would inspire a different sort of crowd to visit dealerships.

As more customers decide to do all shopping online—often stupidly skipping the test drive to reduce the amount of time spent in a dealer—the information they’re exposed to is increasingly sanitized into quip-heavy reviews and 5-star rating systems. Where’s the glamor?

With each passing day, brochures, photographs, signage, and magazines on the early eras of motoring look more like a fairytale, replete with sugary illustrations, gee-whiz ad copy, and carefully-drawn technical highlights. But when the Internet will give us anything—these days, it’s most often photo-realistic renderings—maybe what I’m craving is something missing from the World Wide Web: old-fashioned, hand-drawn whimsy*.

*Preferably, featuring the new convertible sports car for 2016 that Fiat’s about to unveil. 


Images via illcar.tumblr.com

 

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Counterpoint_UK
Counterpoint_UK

A lot of what’s dissapeared is the idea, and what it is that’s being communicated. Storytelling is the word everyone’s using now but few understand the concept behind a story. Stories are the oldest form of communication; the single most fundamental human interaction. Stories can change behaviours, reframe perceptions and, most importantly, it’s proven that stories help us remember information, too. Stories connect on a rational and an emotional level. And that’s where most automotive brands are missing out – finding something compelling to communicate. And telling it in a way that captivates and creates a reaction. Get the story… Read more »

Stany94
Stany94

Yeah… modern car brochure… but for what? Peaple don’t care, sadly! nowadays “people’s cars” looking aaaaall the same. You could blame the artists or the designers but I think the most people has no interest in proper style… well, a few have!

Thanks Petrolicious! 🙂

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

First you need to find “artists” who can actually draw with pen and paper (sans computer).

Good luck with that.

Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani

New car brochures? A lot of companies aren’t even printing them up these days!

Craig Forrest
Craig Forrest

I can remember as a child going with my dad to all the new car dealerships in town the night of the unveiling of the new year’s models. I came home with scores of glossy brochures to pour over for the next year. Some were not so hot and were quickly tossed aside. I particularly liked the Pontiac brochures with their Art Fitzpatrick illustrations of the new wide track Pontiacs. Along with Van Kaufman, he presented those cars in a manner that has yet to be duplicated with one of the finest Zeiss wide-angle lenses available.

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss

When done right, I think computer-based literature can be really quite compelling. Take Doug Nye’s e-book on Ferrari GTOs. If that type of treatment were applied to on-line brochures, they would be pretty cool indeed.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

” Preferably, featuring the new convertible sports car for 2016 that Fiat’s about to unveil ” Y’all talking about the FIAta/Miata MX5 in a 124 party dress ? Errr …. hate to be the bearer of bad news but its already been ‘ unveiled ‘ … multiple times since mid week across the entire Automotive Business netscape in the typical Pre ‘ official ‘ unofficial/official unveiling on the net with the usual host of marketing speak – platitudes and attitudes – smoke & mirrors rhetoric and claims too ludicrous to repeat here fashion . Oh wait . You weren’t expecting… Read more »