The automotive designers and modelers at Ford are the true creators–they are the engineers behind what each and every Mustang looks like, and they communicate not by words and confusing explanations, but through plain old masking tape.
From the beginning of the design process of any car, tape plays a key role in development. Even with a car well established and with such a rich history as the Mustang, a physical redesign of any kind brings the Ford brass back to the drawing board for a new, fresh look at body lines and overall styling.
From there, the fun begins–modelers assemble full-sized clay Mustangs where the designers once again go to work. They stretch tape across the clay vehicle to accent changes in line location and depth while the modelers work their magic, manipulating the clay into the image that lays in the designer’s mind. The tape saves them the words an confusion that comes with trying to explain one’s self, as the tape is the purest form of communication between a designer and modeler.
” From the beginning, we need to focus on creating the right structural lines – the skeleton of the car. Then our job is to tailor the vehicle body to enhance the figure. This is a process of editing every single line to find the perfect balance of concave and convex angles. ” – Kemal Curic, Ford’s exterior design manager for the 2015 Mustang.
When an angle or line’s location needs to be changed, out comes the tape. The process is repeated until a perfect, full-size depiction is finished. Its all about creating the proper dimensions and proportions by honing in on the car’s body lines and the subtle angles they create. It’s an art form all its own.
And all of this is done with a simple roll of tape. How much tape you ask? Well, Ford’s design team claims to go through ~155 miles of the stuff every year.