Well, over the weekend I popped into the local Land Rover dealer in Tonbridge (soon to become the biggest Land Rover dealer in the country once building work finishes) and picked up a brochure for the 2013MY Land Rover Discovery 4, a 7-seater 4×4 that is both practical and refined, available in a variety of specifications to meet the varied customer demands in this market segment. For more information on the Discovery 4, click here.
Being a Graphic Design student, I could not help but look into the design of this brochure, and write up my thoughts with some accompanying photos I have taken.
First Impressions: This vehicle is a premium model made by a premium car manufacture. This can be seen in the weight of the brochure, the high quality matt stock used, even the sizing of the pages, as well as the extra attention paid to design throughout. Makes me want to take my time reading through it, something I do not feel when I read a brochure from a budget car manufacture.
General Layout: As a car enthusiast and long-term fan of the Land Rover brand, I have collected a series of Land Rover brochures from dealers over the last 5 years or so. Therefore I have seen the progression of their brochures into the current state they are now, and I can see with this generation they are more refined, and therefore easier to peruse through, feeling classier than ever. No doubt they have used lessons learnt from the Range Rover (the flagship model of the range) brochures produced of late.
Typography: I do not know what typeface the Land Rover brand uses for their identity (I expect it is custom made) but I have to say I am a big fan of it and it serves the Land Rover brand very well. Being a sans-serif typeface aids clarity in a no-nonsense style, and the geometric, squared off edges really making this typeface stand out. It appears to be in one weight only, and is therefore used for body copy and display headings. The sizing is the manner in which the type hierarchy is established.
Photography: Here is where Land Rover, like all car manufacturers, really appeals to its customers. By showing the Discovery 4 in a wide range of scenarios, with stunning landscapes and people interacting with the vehicle in a perfect manner, it shows what lifestyle they could have with this car (even if the reality is nowhere near that!) and for many, that will be enough to encourage them into wanting the car, and then ensuring they feel they need it in their lives as it can allow them to achieve much more.
Info-graphics: To explain the Terrain Response system (Land Rover’s way of changing the car’s characteristics such as suspension and electronics depending on and off-road conditions etc.) symbols needed to be used to depict the scenarios suited to each setting. Overall, I think the designers here have done a great job, that works in a variety of different sizes, they are legible and with the use of a reasonably thick line weight have connotations of a rugged, solid feel, but one that is still premium, an identity Land Rover have been carefully building over the last few years, especially as these two characteristics rarely go hand in hand.
Safety: While all customers want to be safe in their car, it is important to note customers in this sector often have families, and have a higher focus on safety. While the myth that bigger cars are always safer has now been categorically disproven, I think to attract the attention of customers you can’t just solely brag about Euro NCAP scores. So actually showing the safety features within the car, such as the airbags and the steel side impact bars will reinforce in the customer’s mind this is a safe car that will not let them down in the event of an accident.
Choices: With a car such as this, there are many exterior and interior colours to choose, as well as wheels etc. This brochure gives a good way of going through them and deciding what you want. However, a trend I have noticed recently is how a varnish finish is applied to the exterior paint samples so as to give them a more realistic feel than would be seen on the usual matt stock used which also aids the texture of the page, giving it a classier look that I have noticed premium car manufacturers are going for. One thing I would add though is that the printing process can never fully replicate a car’s colour, never mind in a range of light levels, on the contours of a car’s bodywork. Through experience I have seen how the same colour can look different when placed onto another model in the range.
Technical Information: A helpful feature within the Land Rover brochures is a way of assessing the technical specification of the car, so as to ensure it fits in the garage for example, or to see if the boot space is big enough for what you carry. This is all summed up over a couple of double page spreads, making use of imagery of the car and facts presented in a legible manner. An interesting mention goes out for the turning circle, which you can see from the picture, shows a car on a circle that bleeds off the page. I have not seen this done before, as normally in car brochures the turning circle is just another figure in a boring long table of figures.
Conclusion: Overall, I think this is a very impressive design from Land Rover that sells the product and pulls the customer into the lifestyle aspect of the brand. This has been reflected by the sales success Land Rover is currently experiencing and the fact the Discovery 4 has attracted a lot of customers from lower down the Land Rover range and from other premium car manufacturers, examples being BMW, Audi and Mercedes.