Aaron Keller, Managing Principal, Capsule

Leaving a rigorous visit to the gym recently I was wandering through the parking lot and found myself pulling on the handle of someone’s car. It was white. It had all the visual indicators to help me identify my particular BMW. It was nearly in the same spot I had parked my car.

So, why was I tugging away in frustration on someone’s door?

Well, we have a case of mistaken brand identity. My embarrassment was minimal and the other brand of automobile was left with out any real damage.

It made me consider the design process at this competing brand.

There are many variations on design methods between corporations and firms, but the common threads are these. Get informed using research (trends, movements, human behaviors, technologies, etc). Start forming a plan (design strategy, inspiration and direction, design brief). Then design possible solutions until you come to a final design execution. Again, there are many variations on this approach above, but this is a common practice. The question is this, what is the Hyundai design process?

Let me venture a guess here.

Design Process: Buy a BMW. Drive it to the design floor. Take it apart. Measure everything. Find ways to make each part cheaper. Put it all back together and return it to the BMW dealership. Recreate the BMW using all the cheaper parts and pieces. Design a manufacturing line and start producing near exact copies. Hire a really good lawyer.


I took the badge off my BMW and the Hyundai (using my less than impressive Photoshop skills). You tell me, which one is in this photo?