There’s certain art styles that have become, much like an actor doomed to play the same basic role over and over, typecast. They’re art styles that have become so closely associated with one particular genre or category of something that it’s almost impossible to see it used in an other context without thinking of whatever it’s best known for. I happened to stumble on a great example of this in this 1974 Volkswagen Dasher brochure. The art in this brochure, while skillful and well-executed, can’t help but make me think of pulpy ’70s romance novels. Maybe not just romance, it could be some bad light sci-fi or fantasy, too, perhaps. But I think when you look at that art up there, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
In case it’s not clicking for you, let me help a bit:
See what I mean? I feel like I’ve seen this, and some of D’Colonic’s other novels, in a used book store not long ago.
You know what else is weird about this brochure? It’s one of the only of the early water-cooled VW brochures or promo materials that includes illustrations of really early prototypes that would eventually become the Volkswagen Beetle; look in the upper left here:
Those drawings are of Porsche’s 1933 NSU Type 32 prototype, which was very Beetle-like, down to having a flat-four engine and everything. On the right, it’s interesting to see how they tie this very different (and, ironically, somewhat NSU-derived) Dasher design to the Beetle by virtue of it having an engine over the drive wheels.
That’s fascinating, but let’s turn another drawing from this brochure into a book cover:
Ooh, book six! I’ve only read up to Groin of the Gargoyles, book four. I better catch up! I’ve been a Bearpudding fan for years, you see.