As part of my 21st birthday present, I received a trip to the world-famous Geneva Motor Show. This would be my first-ever visit to the world’s biggest car show (and the only one that happens annually) and I was massively excited – not only to see the latest cars on show, but also for the spectacle of it all, and the competition surrounding which manufacturer designs and builds the best/biggest stand. The graphic designer in me gets very enthusiastic about this! Being on Swiss territory also means complete neutrality, with manufacturers being given an even amount of space to display their offerings. Anyway, some pictures are attached, focused more around the design side of things than the metal on show!
Citroen have recently redesigned the light clusters on their DS3 premium supermini to give this clever and dramatic 3D effect, giving the impression of a tunnel of LEDs, and therefore a very recognisable signature for the car as it travels along at night.
Citroen’s stand overall was very impressive, with tunnels, nooks and crannies to explore. Different personalisation options were displayed on the walls too, and the DS range was positioned on thick pile carpet, differentiating these more premium offerings from their ‘bread and butter’ C range. A good stand, complete with well-stocked merchandise shop.
Peugeot’s stand wasn’t too dissimilar to that of Citroen. Their new 2008 model took up most of the space, with different ranges occupying different areas of the stand. Specific areas were given over to the new GTI and XY variants of the 208 supermini, with colours and personalisation options displayed in a similar way to those on Citroen’s stand.
One pattern particularly noticeable at the show as the introduction of touch-screen systems in place of radios and CD players – perhaps a nod to the car manufacturers acknowledging the death of the CD as a format for playing music. Renault’s new Zoe, Clio and Captur models all feature this system, which includes Bluetooth compatibility and a range of apps – further evidence of how fast technology is moving. It was interesting to note how differently some systems operated to others.
Back to Peugeot and light graphics – I really liked the new LEDs on the 208 GTI, featuring some of the clearest signalling lights I’ve seen on a car. The design effort is also far more visible than it has been previously.
The halls are visual feasts for car lovers, with manufacturer logos and identities rising above the competition, contrasting and complementing one another.
Renault’s stand, for me, was the most impressive in terms of design and layout. Frosted circular globes hung at different heights from the ceiling, glowing different colours, being reflected by the pod stools on the ground, which were very popular with showgoers.
Overall I had a brilliant time and it gave me the opportunity to see how manufacturers are using the latest technology both in their cars and as part of their exhibition design. The one remaining big European show I need to tick off, having visited Paris in 2008, is the Frankfurt motor show – dominated by the German manufacturers.