Five Books That Track Trends in Transportation Design


Automotive Design and More: Five Books That Track Transportation Design Trends

From airline design, to the heyday of concept cars, to the origins of the world’s most notable logos, five coveted books that track trends in transportation design

From airline design, the heyday of concept cars, to the origins of the world’s most notable logos, we bring together the latest books on transportation design in all its forms. There is a magnetic attraction to the bold visions of yesteryear, as past futures always seem to turn out to be better than reality. These five books look back on a time of unbridled optimism.

Aeroflot–Soviet Fly

(Images courtesy of Fuel Design)

Another beautifully documented tome from Fuel Design, this time chronicling the admirable aesthetic of communist air travel. Everyone knows Aeroflot (“air fleet”), founded in 1923 and still Russia’s main carrier, but there are other, smaller names to discover in Bruno Vandermuren’s lavishly illustrated book, such as Deruluft and Dobrolet. Civil aviation united the vastness of the Soviet Union, and the airline’s graphic identity and advertising posters made much of the patriotic capital of its airline’s technological and social sophistication. Reality hasn’t always lived up to propaganda – the catastrophic Tu-144 supersonic airliner, for example – but this book is a unique insight into another world of aviation.

Aeroflot – Fly Soviet, Bruno Vandermueren, Fuel Publishing, £24.95,

Roots and wings: Peter Schreyer: designer, artist and visionary

Above is 2011 Kia GT Concept, photo by Raul Suciu (images courtesy of Gestalten)

The first monograph on the work of the influential German car designer Peter Schreyer, Roots and wings is as much a biography of Schreyer’s life and influences as it is a catalog of his (many) influential designs. Now an advisor to the Hyundai Motor Group, after his key role as chairman of the company’s design management, Schreyer also played a leading role in shaping the identity of Audi and Volkswagen. The book features specially commissioned studio photographs by Amos Fricke, as well as numerous archival images, including Schreyer’s own works, personal photographs, and sources of inspiration including fine art and aviation.

Yesterday’s Future – 1960s Concept Cars

Ford Gyron concept, 1961 (images courtesy of Porter Press)

The concept car came to life in the 1960s, when outrageous styling exercises were used to wow crowds and come up with “dream cars” that would cement brand loyalty and inspire hope in the future. Richard Heseltine’s book for specialist automotive publisher Porter Press offers insight into that decade of extremes, when compact city cars vied for attention with sleek supercars, and distant experiences like the Ford Gyron promised speed machines. balancing that would spin along the highways of tomorrow. The book includes 350 archival images of cars from manufacturers and designers like Alfa Romeo, Bertone, Mercedes-Benz, Ghia and Lamborghini.

Yesterday’s Future – 1960s Concept Cars, Richard Heseltine, Porter Press International, £45,

The beginnings of the logo

A broadcast on the evolution of the Shell logo (images courtesy of Taschen)

One for graphic designers and semioticians, The beginnings of the logo brings together 6,000 logos from the 19th century to the present day. As a chronicle of the birth of corporate identity, it is unbeatable. Many of the logos on display are still recognizable today, proving the enduring power of good graphic design. BMW, for example, has rarely deviated from its blue and white roundel, while Opel, whose origins date back to 1862, incorporated a zeppelin into its logo in 1937, before making it the lightning bolt that persists today. . Peugeot’s famous lion has seen multiple iterations since its introduction in 1850, with many more examples to discover inside.

Made in Italy

Top: Lancia Fulvia Concept, 2003. Top: Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ, designed by Ercole Spada at Zagato in 1962 (photos courtesy of Piotr Degler)

Photographer Piotr Degler’s new monograph focuses on some of the most exclusive and iconic examples of Italian automotive design. The book is a true labor of love, involving trips to museums, corporate archives, design studios and private collections around the world. The vast majority of images were created just for the book, featuring beautiful photography of concepts, one-offs, and recognized classics. Ten years in the making, it includes the profiles of 11 key players in the history of Italian automotive design, including Ercole Spada, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Leonardo Fioravanti and Marcello Gandini.



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