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Customers make an almost intuitive decision about the brand image, the design and the quality of the product, and understanding this complex emotional reaction is one of the challenges for vehicle designers. " Emotional design" has been a buzz phrase in the automotive industry for twenty years now and the results can be seen in almost every showroom. For some the interpretation is " Kinetic", for others it's " Flame surfacing". Each brand is developing its own spin on emotional design. The formsprache is becoming more dynamic and expressive, the graphics more adventurous and as a result the vehicles are becoming more extravagant and individualistic. The reaction of consumers to these new emotional design directions and what they find cool and uncool is just one of the fascinating areas of research that the Car Men team tackle every week. Based on more than sixty years of design experience, the company's team of designers has been able to develop some unique tools to interpret and evaluate design and consumers perceptions of quality. Every vehicle design contains hundreds of aesthetic signals that communicate on an emotional level to the customer. Breaking this visual code and understanding how these signals can be evaluated are strengths of the Car Men team. Some signals are important for the brand message, some for the quality perception and others help to establish a car's character. When the mix is right, these signals should combine and trigger a passionate identification with the product and the brand. Car Men evaluates the mix for each car in the form of an ' Emotional Profile'. As vehicle design becomes more expressive, consumers perceive " Emotional design has been a buzz phrase in the automotive industry for twenty years and the results can be seen in every showroom"

an increasing animalistic association with cars. They are more ' beings' than machines. Vehicle faces are becoming more expressive as lamp graphics become more adventurous. Grille design and its association with mouth and nose are being exploited more, and the stance and posture of body design is showing more and more animalistic qualities. This increased expression is a trend within the automotive industry that is really helping to increase the visual impact of vehicle design and people's passionate relationship with the car. But the reaction or perception of vehicle design is subjective and can be affected by other factors, one of the strongest elements being brand image. Personal attitude to different brands, whether rational or irrational, has a direct effect on people's evaluation of the vehicle and its design. Getting past this prejudice and achieving an objective evaluation of a design is one of the strengths of Car Men's research methods. Try getting a Mercedes owner to evaluate an Audi design and you'll understand the problem. " Personal attitude to some brands, whether rational or irrational has a direct effect on people's evaluation of a vehicle and its design"