[Interior Designers;] Learn about what kind of work a car designer performs. | Car Design Academy | Online car design school

[Interior Designers;] Learn about what kind of work a car designer performs.

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Hi! This is Car Design Academy.

The task of the designer is usually divided by some aspects.

First, car designers can work in 1 of 3 areas: exterior design, interior design, or color/trim design.

・Exterior Designer’s job is design the appearance and style of the car.

・Interior Designers focus on making the vehicle interior for the driver and passengers, and also design the shape of instrument panel.

・Color/trim Designers’ job is color coordination of both exterior and interior, and also they decide what materials (metal, wood grain, leather, fabric, carpeting) are to be used on the inside and outside of the vehicle to make it visually appealing.

“Clay modelers” transform a concept sketch drawn by a car designer into a three-dimensional object by using industrial clay.

“Car Design Director or Chief Car Designer” is responsible for supervising car designers.

Today, car designers assume a large role in develoing cars.

For example, target setting. Designers do research like “what kind of people are most likely to buy their products, and/or when do consumers make purchase decisions.”

Marketing research such as observing and collecting data from customers’ perspectives is also an important job for car designers.

“Interior Designers;” a job creating vehicle interior design.

Please find the role of Interior Designer. The article is a story of Interior Designer of Daihatsu, Katunori Sasaki, who was in charge of Daihatsu New Tanto Custom, which was the most sold new car in Japan in 2014.

See this sketch.


This sketch is a “Daihatsu New Tanto Custome.”

Let’s take a look how an interior design concept was applied to Daihatsu Tanto!

First of all, they incorporated a concept, family-friendly—– “Not only for a driver, but all family member will enjoy this car.”



Let’s look at where Daihatsu interior designer focused on. 

First, he adopted upright front window, much steeper than its previous model. This enabled to use front window area wider.

To be more concrete, Sasaki kept the center meter position lower so that he was able to produce a flat dashboard which made a front window looks bigger.


Secondly, setting triple gauge which locates in the center of dashboard!

Three meters (fuel meter, speed meter, and tachometer) are arranged into one meter which gives an impression as if they are nicely overlapping. This enabled to keep the instrumental panel height lower, which created more open space for the top of instrumental panel area.

And, also car navigation, air conditionor, and shift lever are set all together on the center console in the most user-friendly position. This center console looks as if it is a part of Meters. As a result, it has achieved to produce improved operationability and simplistic appearance.


Third, Tanto’s spacious interior and the wide entrance created by their unique Miracle Open Door! (Pillarless Powered Sliding Door).

“The combination of center-pillarless construction and a sliding door in a mini vehicle, which creates a wide entrance that provides easy access for all. And, the slide width of the passenger seat has been extended. It provides spacious and easy in and out for rear seat users. “


“Flat floor is another characteristic of Tanto which increase usability for all family members including senior and junior family members.



An interior designer’s job is to creates space, and sets comfortable atmosphere inside the vehicle.

Some customer may think “I want to get a stylish car, but I don’t like feeling cramped…”

If you got a request like above, how will you reflect that in your design?

How does the customer feel when he ride the car? Why does he feel so? What’s the cause? These questions will back and forth interior designer’s mind.

What material should I choose for seats or instrumental panel? Should I use a fabric, or leather? How does element texture change affect consumer’s mind? Angle of seats, floor, what will be the impact if adopt this idea? Or, the size of window, what kind of glass, there are so many variance for interior designer to consider.

The designer plans and propose various ideas from every perspective. It is a kind of try and error processes.

As I mentioned at the end of the exterior design job, consolidating people’s wish to a visible shape is important task for interior designers as well.

Can you get some images about what is the job of exterior desginer?