The Positives Of Negative Space: Cold Start

Cs Safari911

Another late Cold Start, so that must mean that I’m still on West Coast time, still here at the LA Auto Show spreading Autopian joy the only ways I know how, with my fists, Sugar and Spice (brandishes fists, each about the size of a tangelo). Part of what’s great about this is that The Autopian Wall Of Joy is part of the Galpin Hall of Customs, which is full of great cars, including this incredible 1974 Porsche 911 Carerra the talented Galpin folks modified. I want to show it to you not just because it’s great overall (I mean, hell, it won the People’s Choice Award at the Werks Reunion) but because there’s a detail on it that I’ve always appreciated from a graphic design perspective.

This 911 has been customized to be like a period-correct safari/off-road machine, complete with an unashamed ’70s color palette and glorious stripes and all the fun stuff like roll cages and plenty of lights and big tires. But I want to point out this little bit of graphic design on the sides:

Cs Safari Side

I love how the word Safari is made only with what’s not there; it’s cut out of the stripes on the side, with just a few edges delineated in white, just four squiggles to help guide your imagination to see what isn’t, yet is, there. It’s classic use of negative space, kind of like how the FedEx logo hides that little arrow.

I suppose you can argue that the negative space usage continues with all of those holes drilled into the bumpers; more design with voids, and it doesn’t hurt that it saves weight and allows airflow, too.

Anyway, it’s just a fun detail that I wanted to show you, if you’ll forgive my being so negative, spatially.

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30 Responses

    1. In Virginia at least, in the era this was made, it was illegal to have non-stock off-road lights on pavement. If you didn’t have a cover on your KC HiLites, you would definitely be inviting a ticket. I’m assuming that’s why the cover exists because it’s a bit jarring.

    2. I believe it’s a quartet of driving lamps covered by a clip on lid. Aesthetically it definitely looks odd with the photo angle causing the stripes to be misaligned and feels set back to far on the frunk hood compared to most light pods on 911s.

      1. An over-engineered rock guard answers my question. But it raises more questions. I would think a custom fiberglass shroud over off-road lights would be 10X in cost over the replacement price of light fixtures, but that’s a guess.

        Maybe the shroud is just a show-car thing. From an aesthetics perspective on a vehicle of this type, I’d rather see the lights, even if the car never leaves the showroom.

  1. Thanks Uncle Jason! Where do we send our money? Shit this kicks ass big time. Time to start hunting for the Holy Grail: a decent, and decently priced 911 shell to begin my own Frankenstein build. Thanks for the grins…

  2. Sorry, Jason. That 911 is just hideous. I love 911s, and owned one once. But that overall look of almost monochrome, nauseating green kills it for me. And the negative space effect on the “Safari” looks more like “Satan”. Probably a nod to whoever picked that color.

  3. Doesn’t seem like a great concept for actual safari-style use. With an open top, you’d cook in the sun, get suffocated in dust, and the cabin could get filled with mud.

    Agreed the graphics are pretty excellent.

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