When you spend as much time looking at old car brochures as I do, you notice certain archetypes of things like diagrams: the technical cutaway, the blocks-of-color space-utilization diagrams, the blueprint-like diagrams with dimensions, physical, actual cutaways shown in photographs, illustrated ones, and so on. The diagram you see above there is pretty unusual, both visually and what it’s attempting to show: it’s showing a person’s range of reach and access into a Ford Econoline from all of the possible entry points. It’s a clever diagram! It’s actually useful once you realize what’s going on there.
Visually, It’s pretty fun, too. It could have been handled in a much more clinical way, but instead it’s all rich saturated arcs of color and shape. I like it; it feels like an abstract painting. I’d like to blow it up huge and rotate it 90° and hang it in a gallery. Really, the whole brochure has a similar loose, illustrative style I really like:
I love the color washes and the rough vertical ink lines. My one question is why would you want to portray what looks like a miserable traffic jam? I guess it’s supposed to be some kind of Ford Truck Parade, but it just feels like a gruelingly slow creep of nonstop traffic.
Still, that tangerine-colored Econoline is pretty badass, and boy can you reach inside it, from three places! I have a diagram that proves it, hanging in an art gallery.
What gets me is the diagram shows a driver’s side cargo door! Was this really an option?
That diagram with semi-circle sweep area is often called “deaf danger zone”, a rather useful tip when eating at the table. The deaf people often move anything taller than plates away from the “deaf danger zone” so they don’t accidentally hit anything tall while signing. The sweep area is determined by the length of hand and forearm from the elbow to the tip of finger with elbow as the radius axis placed at the table edge .
Just a rather useless (or useful for some) trivial…
Three people standing outside of a van, slap-fighting inside of a van.
So I saw the thumbnail and decided to Rorschach this one. My freshly high mind came up with…
I see some bondage vehicle concept. Dudes bent over near what looks like doors with a cattle chute pushing them into a hole that grinds them up.
Then I read the article. Whoops
Wait… the Econoline has 3 exhaust pipes?
Mastercards used to be huge. The wallet sized ones didn’t come out until the seventies.
They’re making stow angels.
If you’re playing spoons or some kind of people-based Hungry Hungry Hippos game, you want to take one of the side door openings. The guy in the back doors doesn’t have a chance!
But, of course, if you drop something small it will end up in that tiny space dead center behind the front seats where no reaching arms overlap. Just far enough out of reach from all angles. Leading to some sort of bumped head or smashed shin during retrieval.
Now that’s all I can see is that one dead space laughing at me.
If this was from the 70’s, the would have live bikini models demonstrating this.
Just don’t put anything on the floor just behind the engine cover, no diagramme man can reach anything there: Serious design flaw!
The brochure also kind of explains capitalism: The three blue collar workmen do all the reaching, and the guy wearing the tie does the driving..
(Well it IS Ford, so maybe it’s the arian guy with the good genes who does the driving)
That’s where you stash the puppies and candy.
Aaahh, that illustration of the traffic jam makes one anxious just looking at it since it looks like there are sheer drop-offs on each side of the roads where one misstep in such vehicles not known for steering finessee will result in hapless drivers plummeting to their death. One could say the acronym is actually for “Found Off Road Dead.”
Apropos of that illustration of the traffic jam, here’s an ad for Warn Winch circa 1975 with a Jeep:
I’m not backing out, I’m not going forward, looks like I’ve got a walk ahead of me.
On first glance I thought “oh, its how you can reach all the top edges of the car so you can wash it.”
Didn’t see that the doors were open, and on second thought being able to reach inside is probably more important than being able to wash the top.
Still, you don’t want that one little spot on the top of your van to be unclean. Imagine parking it next to a second story building and someone looks out the window at it! The shame!
Ah, yes, Vitruvian Man And Machine.
I am not sure why, but I expected the caption of this picture to be “Spread ’em!”
More like a Venn diagram!
It’s shows how you can hold down your giant beetle (the bug, not the car) with three people if it tries to escape again
“No, no Tom…you have to fold this end over first or the burrito is never going to hold…”
It was the last time alcohol was permitted in team meetings.
But seriously, I love ’60s American vans, all of them. Designers, here’s a box, have at it. Ford, Dodge, Chevy (including the Greenbrier), they all developed distinct and interesting details to dress things up.
That’s some serious man spreading going on there
For our lady readers, manspreading is when a man takes up more space than he needs because he feels entitled to it.
Did I just mansplain manspreading? You bet your ass I did.
Username checks out.
Those fools accidentally created the Mitsubishi logo with their reach overlap zones. That’s how Mitsubishi was summoned to the US market.
Interesting tidbit. The artist was Guido da Vinci of Dearborn Heights. Leonardo’s great great great grandson.
“It’s hard to find your drugs when you drop them on Fords new psychedelic carpeting, luckily multiple doors mean your whacked-out friends can help!”
I thought it was cops searching the van.
This is a damn smart way to promote a cargo bay that’s not really all that big!
Huh – I didn’t realize that Daft Punk used to have 3 members, and that they did Ford van based performance art.
My first thought was: Devo album cover.
I was initially going to make a more era-appropriate joke about Mummenschantz prepping their new character “Fordy”, but I didn’t think many people would relate to it.
PS – damn, I just looked them up and they’re still performing! I thought they were purely creatures of the drug-addled 60’s and 70’s.
I’ve always felt surreal never really goes out of style. B/c it’s never really in style…it’s always a curiosity at the time, and then later you think “what the hell was that?”. Like many of the kids shows from the ’70s or even ’80s.
Case in point…. Yo Gabba Gabba. Which also ties into the Devo comment too. Why? Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo’s lead singer) had an art segment on that show. Biz Markie was on there too. That show was very surreal, appropriate for kids and wildly fun for adults to boot.
I was thinking it was an early Mute Records logo.