GM’s Styling – The Look of Things 1955
I was cleaning up my office the other day and forgot that I have this complete, spiral bound copy of the mid 50s General Motors Styling Staff handbook “Styling- The Look of Things”. I scanned a few pages for you to enjoy, including a comparison that breaks down how we see design, symmetry, and balance. There’s also a history of why the panoramic windshield was developed, and how brightwork and trim is meant to break up exterior body surfaces and accentuate the interior door panels. The ‘General’ was always always looking forward, trying to stay on the cutting edge of car design, and never copying. It’s amazing that each division- Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Cadillac had completely independent body styles, interiors, and drive trains. It’s utterly fascinating to me how much the Harley Earl era of GM analyzed every aspect of automotive design, and the result was some of the most aesthetically pleasing car shapes of the entire decade.