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  • Making Cars Like No Other - Whatʼs Car Design All About? -

    Mai Okamoto
    Car Designer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd
    Photos by Yoshiaki Okamoto
    No part of this website may be reproduced without prior permission.

  • What car designers do?

    Many cars of various shapes and colors run through the streets.
    But they all start with a sketch by a car designer. The job of
    a car designer is to create new cars that don’t yet exist anywhere.

    She’s drawing a car.
    How is a car actually
    developed from this sketch?
  • The tools of a car designer

    Here are some of the tools that a car designer uses.
    Maybe you have some of them too.

    The designer needs these tools,
    but the most important tool is
    the ability to think outside the box.
  • Sketching

    Car designers draw many imaginative sketcheswith various concepts
    —cool car, cute car, big car, small car. What makes a car comfortable
    and safe? By sketching, the designer puts these ideas into shape.

    I can’t wait to see
    what the finished car will look like.
    Show me what you’ve got!
  • 3D modeling

    To get a better idea of what the car might actually look like,
    a three-dimensional computer image is created from the hand-drawn sketches.

    There are 3D modelers
    who specialize in making
    three-dimensional computer models.
    Making a 3D model helps to perform
    various simulations, since it can be viewed
    from the front, side, back and other angles.
  • Making a clay model

    Based on the sketches and the 3D computer data, a full-size model is made out of clay.

    This part needs more trimming.
    I’ll add some clay here.
    Wow, the model is
    the size of a real car?
  • Choosing the body color and interior components

    The car designer doesn’t just decide the shape of the car.
    Choosing body colors and designing the interior are also part of the job.

    That’s a pretty color.
    Which is better?
    Cars are made to be driven outdoors,
    so the body colors are checked in the sunlight.
  • Time for the final check

    Full-size pictures of the car are displayed on large screens,
    and everyone checks the final design together.

    Looks good.
    We put a lot of thought into the shape around here.
    So, only the designs that
    pass the final check are made
    into actual cars.
  • Completion

    The cooperation of many people and a lot of time
    and effort go into the completion of a car design.

    Now you know
    what a car designer does.
    What kind of car
    would you like to ride?
    Making cars of the future looks
    like an exciting job!
  • Various automobile designs

    There are many different kinds of
    automobiles.They’re designed according
    to their purpose.

    Every car is a one and only for
    its owner. I put a lot of thought and care
    into designing the shape,
    colors and other aspects of each car.

    Car designers sometimes
    design“working”cars like ambulances too.

  • Questions for the designer

    Q1. What can we do to become a car designer?

    Draw a lot. It’s also good to experience many different
    things so that you can have a creative imagination.

    Q2. What’s the most rewarding part of a car designer’s job?

    It takes a long time and the help of many people to complete
    a car design. But I feel very happy when I see people riding
    a car that I designed with smiles on their faces.

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