Surf the Internet in just a few minutes and you can find thousands of articles on the latest design trends. But this article is different.
By “design” most articles talk about new curves, trim shapes and doors and windows and lights and grilles. This article is not about auto parts.
By “design” most articles talk about materials – various combinations of metal, plastic, and glass. This article is not about car materials.
By “design”, many articles also talk about the latest colors and tones of this year’s model.
Now we are getting interesting.
By “design,” we’re talking about paint that covers most of the surfaces of your vehicle (except for the windows and lights and mirrors for obvious reasons, and metal that’s intentionally exposed to add highlights and set off the paint job). It’s all about the paint job!
When the car first rolled off the assembly line. Henry Ford famous for writing in his autobiography that, “Any customer could have a car painted any color he wanted so long as it was black.” But most people don’t know that the first cars, built manually before the assembly line, came in a variety of bright colors. Black is a color that dries faster on the assembly line.
With the advent of new spray paint that spreads evenly in thinner layers, drying time for all colors was reduced, and cars boldly emerged from the black and white era long before television. Various types of paint and baking methods not only dried the paint, but also hardened it, attempted from the 1950s to the 1980s. The government comes along with the environment regulations to reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and the age of green paint was born (“green” meaning eco-friendly – few cars are actually painted green).
The latest trend in automotive paint jobs
The current trend is to switch to a higher quality paint that will remove grit and salt in northern climates and withstand the extreme summer heat in southern climates.
And looks very good.
Today’s most coveted paint jobs are not only the most durable factory finishes, not just the latest hues and hues, but also the latest designer textures and luxury finishes.
And it looks really, really good. In fact, even Monet from Van Gogh would be proud of this paint.
There can be no discussion of vehicle surface trends without discussing color. From one model year to the next, there’s definitely one different trends in the latest colors. These change not only year to year, but also over several years, as vehicle models are updated every four or five years. They’re factory applied, of course, but they also show up in aftermarket paint for touch-ups and for people looking to upgrade their older vehicles to make them look more modern, at least in color.
But what’s really new in paint and car “design” are aftermarket touches – fancy effects that can now be purchased to enhance the look of a vehicle several years after driving it. A great example of this is Remove Bra paint from 3M which has many car enthusiasts agog. You can now give your car a chrome finish or a matte finish. Or you can choose a brushed metal finish or stain texture. This so-called “wrapping” can not only give your vehicle a new look, but also new life. They protect better than factory paint alone, giving you a better resale value.
Want to know what will happen in the future? Can we have 3D effects embedded into our paint or even into our car windows? Can holographic paint make our vehicles look different from the real thing? Tardis cop box on Doctor Who? Or how about glow-in-the-dark paint that makes you highly visible at night (and you’ll never lose your car in the parking lot when the big game is overtime). Maybe we’ll show off our home movies or replay scenes from the home team’s last win through the paint on the outside of our car.
There’s no telling what will happen next, but if you can imagine it’s a pretty safe bet that someone is working on it late at night in a basement or industrial lab somewhere.
Manley tires is a design geek who happens to love cars. When not looking at his convertible, he can be found at his desk working on food package designs.