Hey, the retro-future is calling. We’re guessing from sometime between 1973 and ‘79. It wants its junk back including this car that’s kind of a cross between a Lamborghini and a golf cart. But seriously, this obscure, tangerine-colored, three-wheel vehicle is called the Bond Bug, a “microcar” produced in the early 1970s by Reliant, a U.K. company that had purchased the firm Bond Cars, Ltd. Only about 2,300 Bond Bugs were ever built. We found this one parked next to an art gallery in Solana Beach, near San Diego, California.
Hey, Everybody! Regular readers of GlobalGraphica (GG) will have noticed that we haven’t posted to this site in a few weeks. And if you sent us an email recently, you probably haven’t heard from us (as it was, we were already way behind on replying to readers’ emails — we suck at responding to email, and apologize for that).
So where have we been?
In mid-June, we got brought onto a cool new commercial project at the last minute for the Japanese car brand Acura. Working with the brand’s ad agency, Mullen Lowe and a couple of production companies, we helped produce the world first-ever live augmented reality (AR) race, as well as some commercial spots for it. You can see the live-event video below or read more about it on CNET or AdWeek or in a bunch of other publications.
The project required a ton of work to pull off and kept us ridiculously busy for the better part of a month. Finally, now that the project is wrapped up, we can catch our breath, relax and get back to our passion that is GG.
It lives … The Gucci-branded Fiat 500. We spotted this one in New York City’s East Village on the weekend. The Italian automaker has been doing some interesting things with its re-design and marketing of its classic 500 model (or Cinquecento, as it’s also known). With the launch of the new 500, Fiat embarked on an ambitious ad campaign and push into the U.S. market, which included a series of ads with Jennifer Lopez a couple of years ago. Gucci and Fiat are two massive, distinct Italian brands, but aside from their Italian roots, they’re vastly different: Luxury fashion-lifestyle vs. economy sub-compact cars that historically (before the current, re-designed 500) had a reputation for breaking down often.
A modern-art classic and an example of the ready-made genre in extreme, French artist Bertrand Lavier’s 1993 “Giulietta (-vue-de-dos)” is a crashed red Alpha Romeo car rescued from a scrapyard. The artwork has a home at the Pompidou Center Museum, the powerhouse modern and contemporary art museum in the Beaubourg neighborhood of Paris.
This is one of the more interesting things we’ve seen in a museum lately. It’s the notebook of the man who originally conceived the iconic Volkswagen van, which eventually became the basis for the more popularly known VW bus. The notebook contains his initial sketches of the vehicle, and it’s on view in the design section of Amsterdam’s spectacularly renovated — and recently re-opened — Rijksmuseum. Though Volkswagen is a German company, the concept for the VW van was created by a Dutch race car driver named Ben Pon, who in addition to being an Olympic athlete and vintner was also an importer of VWs after World War II. Pon wanted a smaller, lightweight “truck” type of VW vehicle more suitable for the needs of the Dutch market. He was inspired by a small cart he saw in a factory, and based on his design VW began to produce the vehicle. The full story of how Pon’s idea evolved and got produced is fascinating.
Our hearts have gradually been won over by the craft, quality and personality of Inventory magazine. It seems that there are zillion niche independent “lifestyle” magazines in the world already and — in spite of the Internet — more seem to quixotically appear each month. The magazine is more about the life style of some of the lesser-known people creating and influencing the art, fashion/style and culture we consume. But it’s also about creativity and engages in whimsical exploration of design like in this Illustrated Examples feature titled “Automobiles.”
The GPS screen in K.’s car in Tokyo is pictured below. We had no idea where we were at the time. Tokyo can feel like a massive labyrinth in a car. K. picked us up at the Haneda airport and she then drove us to Global Graphica’s Tokyo satellite office in the Daikanyama neighborhood, in Shibuya, relying solely on the instructions in Japanese and this screen. Well done, K!