The odds and ends of analysing car brochures

The purpose of this blog post is to pick out the remaining things I have noticed looking through the car brochures I have accessible to me that are worth noting that haven’t fitted into any other blog post so far.

Opening the 2004 Honda Accord brochure leads to a transparent, slightly frosted page with a quote on, that overlays a detailed image of the headlight. This is one of my favourite pieces of car brochure design.

The quote is also a great way of starting the brochure. Honda is a Japanese car company, strongly influenced by its home nation. It has a extremely strong work ethic, desire to always improve and has a humble, yet determined attitude to life. Much is said in graphic design about the voice carried by a typeface, and I think the use of Helvetica Neue Light here is totally fit for purpose. It’s thin, delicate stroke gives it a precise voice that is not intending to make a bold, extrovert statement.

IMG_3711 The next page features some text going through the Honda mentality. It is rare to see a company declaring their principles so early on, but I really think it helps the audience to think. Once you’ve read that, you have a greater awareness of how Honda really cares for what it does and how it goes about it. It is something worth exploring for my designs I think, especially as Land Rover have faced criticism in the past over quality and reliability, something well worth addressing when selling an expensive product such as the Range Rover. However, being so confident only works when you know you can back it up!IMG_3712

Another older car brochure I have is the VW Touareg. This brochure, as can be seen from the below images, is strongly defined by a visible grid, that gives a structure to the page that I am surprised at how suitable it looks. I was also unsure about the pale green used throughout, but the more I see it, the more I can see how relaxing it is on the eye, so that could be why they have used it. It also fits well with the landscape images.IMG_3703 IMG_3704 The colour swatches are rather small, but interestingly, all have perforated edges, allowing for them to be removed from the brochure. I presume this is to allow for greater flexibility with the swatch, it can be removed from surrounding colours, or matched against the interior colour and trim choice to see if they complement each other or not.IMG_3705

A more recent piece of design I have picked out is more recent, from a BMW X5 brochure. While the majority of it is just a usual brochure, it features an article about testing the car during its development. This is an unusual thing to do within a brochure, but it works given the size and orientation of the brochure. Perhaps that is something the audience would appreciate for my brochure? Then again, my research has shown me the audience would prefer a more focused, concise approach.IMG_3717

Another car manufacturer whose brochure I wanted to analyse for my FMP is Jaguar as I have been impressed with some of their graphic design before. I decided to look into their top of the range luxury saloon, the XJ. This is an old brochure that has been replaced recently, but there are still a few things I want to mention from it.

After the minimal covers I have been looking at recently, I was surprised to see this front cover, which is very vibrant. Although the car is at the forefront of the audience’s vision, I have to say I find the background rather distracting, due to the very bright lights. However, it does project a dynamic, sophisticated image for the Jaguar XJ, which is how it is marketed; as a luxury saloon with greater dynamic abilities than its rivals.

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 07.44.41

Laying out the key information for the V6 diesel engine is something I think is done rather well. Instead of having a prolonged table full of information, the key facts are laid out at a large size. This is easier for the audience to take in, as it is not surrounded by other information. More traditional in-depth information is provided at the back in a useful format.
Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 07.45.25 The format Jaguar have used to highlight their accessories is rather different from the other brochures I have looked at so far, as instead of a product name and description, with a small image, here there is just the product name and a very large image. Arguably this does not make the best use of space, but it does give the audience a great view of the item they are looking at.Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 08.14.50

Jaguar has chosen to showcase the safety of the XJ by showing it taken back to the chassis, plus the safety members in the doors that resist a side impact. I think this does a great job of showing the audience the measures put in place to help safety. Reassuring the audience is a important factor as everyone wants to be safe in a vehicle.


  • Honda has really understood how to project a quiet, yet confident approach to its audience, which provides reassurance and a sense of honesty. This approach is one that needs to be matched with my designs.
  • Now I have gone through the majority of brochures available to me that are relevant to this project, I shall move my attention onwards to new areas of research.