Pinterest Board Inspires Beachy New Buick Design

By Devon Glenn 

Buick will base the look and feel of its newest luxury car, the 2013 Encore, on images submitted by Pinterest users.

The auto manufacturer had asked 10 influential design, fashion, and food bloggers to participate in a “Pinterest to Dashboard” contest. After visiting the Buick Design Center in Detroit, MI in October, each contestant created a board full of design ideas for a new car that would appeal to a “youthful demographic.”

The image-based site is good place to find young design enthusiasts. A demographic study of social media users conducted by Pew Research in 2012 revealed that 38 percent of internet users under the age of 50 were on Pinterest, split evenly between the 18-29 and 30-49 age groups.

Michael Wurm Jr., who owns a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania and has around 4 million Pinterest followers, came up with the winning entry: a “day at the beach” board with images of beach cruiser bicycles and vintage camping trailers.

“This is the fun part of being a designer,” said Buick’s color and trim designer Melissa Puppos in the video below. “I took his images and made my own inspiration board. He had some colors – the aqua and honey tones – which really stood out over the rest of the colors, and I tried to incorporate those into my own 2D art.”

Buick’s design incorporates these colors while very subtly evoking the feel of a classic station wagon, or “woodie,” with a wood paneled interior and a hatchback for loading a surfboard or other gear.

“We fell in love with the theme of going outdoors for the customer and we really implemented it,” explained designer Ven Lai.

Said Wurm on Buick’s Tumblr page, “My design was all bright happy colors and I’m glad the editors enjoyed that.”