Four years ago, I was sitting at a desk inside the University of Missouri’s journalism school listening to a lecture about page design. The professor was a veteran newspaperman, author and decorated magazine editor, and on that particular day he was focusing on focal point. He encouraged us to come up with designs that were simple, clean and, most importantly, functional.
This is what I learned: when the reader turns to the printed page, their eyes tend to shift towards the upper left quadrant—approximately two-thirds up from the bottom and one third over from the far left side. Keeping this tidbit in mind can help create spreads that flow organically and, if everything goes to plan, engage the reader. Good stuff.
So what’s this have to do with traditional hot rods and custom cars? Earlier this week, I was digging around on the H.A.M.B. and I came across the thread on the Samsel Brothers’ ’32 Ford Victoria for the umpteenth time. Dubbed the “Teddie Bear,” the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based B/Gasser was as clean as they come. The Vicky hit all the right notes from its nose up stance and injected smallblock to its black lacquer and piecrust slicks hanging out of the rear fenders.
Studying the old Ford got me thinking back to that lecture on focal point. Whenever I see the car, my eye is immediately drawn to the rear wheels. Maybe it’s because I knew they were changed several times throughout the Vicky’s racing career? Or maybe because I’m a sucker for mags and piecrust slicks? Hard to say.
Since then, I realized that I’m always drawn to a car’s rolling stock right off the bat. How could I not be? A quick glance can determine whether or not the car fits into our traditional timeframe. Plus, the wheels and tires can make or break any vehicle—it’s as simple as that.
All things considered, I’m curious to know: when it comes to rods and customs, what’s your focal point?
Photos courtesy of titus