Styling The Look of Things was produced by General Motors Corporation in 1955, and revised in 1958. It is a time warp into a much different world of design than exists today. It starts out with an introduction by Harley Earl and contains five chapters: What is a Stylist; The Fundamentals of Design; Evolution of Design in the American Automobile; Modern Automobile Stylist Design a Dream Car; and Three Case Histories. It’s a great booklet with many interesting photos. Many thanks to Dennis Wesserling for providing scans of this rare booklet from 1955 for this post.

Click here to download a copy of Styling The Look of Things in Acrobat format.

Styling The Look of Things in Gallery Format

  1. Rogerio Machado

    As a Automotive Design History teacher I have to congratulate you to share this material. It will be very useful. Compliments also for the serious site. Rogerio Machado

  2. Gregg Trend

    Perhaps unbeknownest to Mr. Wesserling, the GM Imaging project which ran off and on (depending on corporate funding), done by our hard working group at Archival Impact, placed studies like the one he generously provided into GM mainframe databases. Unfortunately, all this accumulation of referenced info (ads, original artwork, models of various sizes, films, video, etc.) is only accessible (legally) by authorized GM staff or ‘bonified’ researchers (vetted by a committee). As far as I know, work (at least by Archival Impact) stopped in 2002. They were working out of the old Argonaut Bldg across the street and connected by bridge to the GM building. Ironically, I worked for D. P. Brother & Co. (the Oldsmobile, GM service, and parts divisions) agency as an art director in Merchandising in the very space. When Leo Burnett bought out Brother in 1967 they supposedly moved all the ad files to Travelers Tower in Southfield, MI (where the area office of Burnett was located). Apparently all of Brothers pre-1967 archives were destroyed! (*sniff* all my work—GONE!)
    During the last 20 years of my professional life I worked as a image database creator and project director in the conservation/preservation of images on paper.

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