PDT an Astronics Company: Product Design and Development Firm in Chicago, IL
details & aesthetics

Maybe looks aren’t everything, but you can’t help but notice beauty... and sometimes a lack thereof.



“There is a reason why people prefer certain colors over others. This preference says volumes about our personalities, because each color has an association with a reaction our brain has when we internalize it.”



On the heels of Pantone naming “Classic Blue” its 2020 Color of the Year, the Chicago Auto Show saw quite a bit of representation of blue shades.


Light blue can evoke feelings of calm, while dark blue communicates strength and reliability.

did you know
color: what it communicates

It used to be said that greens and other neutral-colored cars were less expensive to insure. While that is denied by insurance companies, we wonder what the strategy was behind the vast number of green vehicles shown at the 2020 show. Are they trying to invoke feelings of eco-friendliness, endurance, or prosperity?

gray is the new silver

Gray is a neutral (or achromatic) color; it is literally a color without color. While silver has been a staple in car color options for decades, a new gray has emerged. We couldn’t quite capture it in photos - not metallic, but not matte - we’re digging it.

Gray is known as ‘the color of compromise’.


did you know

of surveyed car buyers named the vehicle’s design as ‘especially important’ when making their decision.

lighting details
c pillars
gear shift clusters

Gear shifters and starters used to all be very similar, and drivers would interact and control them in the same way in any car. Now there’s such a huge variation in gear shift clusters and methods for starting vehicles, it’s becoming less intuitive.


door handles

Traditional, bulbous car door handles are still the norm, but sleek alternatives are also popping up in new vehicle designs. These new low profile handles are beautiful, but some issues, like the lack of intuitive operation and the inability to open them when icy are, a couple downfalls.


low profile
materials & textures to keep things clean

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we wonder if material choices for new autos will change in the future. Cabs used to be upholstered in vinyl so they could easily wiped down, yet rideshare vehicles often have soft upholstery. Might we start to see smoother surfaces and harder materials that boast antimicrobial properties because of their non-porous surfaces? Will material breaks be purposefuly designed to not have crevices that are tough to clean and sanitize?


We think think chances are good.


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