July 1, 2013 brandlogik

The democracy of design

Fictitious Mad Men account director Pete Campbell was unceremoniously removed from the Chevy account when the clients found out he couldn’t drive a car with a stick. As a non-driver I however thrived for several years on the Peugeot account in Ireland, as I was still able to design great creative ideas and express the key elements of the brand without needing to be a petrolhead.

Cars are designed for everyone and there is a unique democracy about car design that appeals to the enlightened designer. In the first part of the twenty-first century a well-designed car is available to almost everyone that can afford one. That’s why I’ve been watching with interest the re-engineering of the Volkswagen Beetle for the new era. The third iteration of the classic Beetle – the most recent being the 1998 curvaceous ‘flower vase’ model – the new version is both more masculine and a better engineered homage to the classic of over seventy years before.

The German design of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle says Porsche curves rather than city run-about, and yet it’s a similar price range as the same company’s Golf, or a Mini Cooper. The VW Beetle seems better designed, better thought-through, better contoured and therefore potentially a better more enduring brand of car than others in its class. It’s unique shape turns heads on the road.

There are clearly creative ideas at play that influence and shape the form of the finished VW Beetle 2012, and these are echoed inside with optional extras such as a Fender-branded sound system that oozes credibility. Mass production doesn’t have to mean inferior products as long as the ideas that drive the car’s production are practical and design led and each buyer has the bespoke options that make the brand more personal.

Cars are designed for everyone and there is a unique democracy about car design that appeals to the enlightened designer.

Leaving the luxury market aside, you really don’t have to pay that much more for a well designed car. If design is important to you, if it’s part of the brand that speaks to you and engages your mind as well as your heart, then you’ll invest in a car, or any product or service, that’s well designed and durable. If a car is something more than a vehicle that gets you to work in the morning, it’s worth applying that thinking to other design choices in your life.


Why waste money and resource on poor choices and indifferent thinking? Why chose something that’s mass produced just because everyone else is has it, when you can enjoy something that’s bespoke, is the result of better creative thinking and is designed to be right for you?

Democracy is good for design. Let’s not forget Steve Jobs’ Bauhaus inspired aesthetic ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ If simple, classic design is available to all in the shape of a well designed car, it’s all the more important for your business that you realise great design is not necessarily more expensive or harder to achieve than indifferent design. It’s worth looking for the right design supplier when it comes to your business and your brand. Great design is your democratic right after all. Let’s talk.

Eugene Burns



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