Design pick of the month – AZU brochure design

Alex is one of the designers at am:pm graphics and has chosen to look at the 1959 brochure, produced by Citroen.  His first car was a ‘Plums and Custard’ Citreon 2CV Dolly and is an enthusiast of all things 2CV.

He writes –

2CV BrochureI particularly like this brochure produced by Citroen for the German and Dutch market. It advertises the rather distinctive 2CV commercial vehicle, the Acadiane or “AZU” is it was known in Germany. It was designed by Robert Delpire of the Delpire Agency who produced a range of iconic designs for Citroen and other big name clients such as L’Oréal.

The product

The 2CV was designed and marketed as the car for everyman and the advertising reflected this in both wording and imagery. Promoted as a family car with comfortable seating for four, or as a practical vehicle with carrying capacity for 4 hens in a basket and a pig!

The 2CV van went into production in 1951 and the brand message of practicality and versatility has certainly been continued in the design of the brochure.

The design

The brochure measures 165mm x 180mm and the boxy shape is a reflection of the roomy storage of the van itself.

The distinctive shape of the van forms the main body of the design. The left hand page being a colourful, highly stylised graphic representation, of the text description on the right. The colour palette is a combination of eye-catching and cheerful reds, oranges, greens and blues (as a representation of the “personality” of the vehicle itself – although this may just be my own romanticised interpretation) offset against a neutral grey (to start with the van was only available in grey) and greyscale photography, suggesting practicality.  Both the colours and the style of the imagery are to some extent statements of fashion at that time, however the design itself remains relevant and attractive in the current trend of vintage chic.
2CV Brochure inside pages

The main text body uses a combination of Serif (Bodini) for the titles, and Sans serif (Arial) for the body text. A variant of the Bodini font was also used in another iconic Delpire brochure for the 2CV.

On pages 6 and 8, which list all the things which could be fitted into the vehicle (12 cases of 10 bottles, 90 cheeses, 16 baskets of oysters and 14 empty baskets, 2 fridges, 11 trays of 360 eggs, 4 cookers, 4 washing machines, 8 TVs, or 22 record players) a variety of fonts has been used, and is another nod towards the range of uses and users this vehicle might appeal to.

A great piece of design which embraces the ethos of its product and looks really cool!

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