Re-discover the Spirit of Tradition with Opel

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  • Car design and communication build on 110-year history
  • Opel advertising art by Bernd Reuters from the 1930s on exhibit

Rüsselsheim. 110 years after the first Opel car was built, the brand is showcasing its origins in a wide array of activities. The company’s long and rich tradition, filled with innovations, is spotlighted in the current advertising campaign. Opel’s aesthetic roots are also highlighted, even beyond automobile design: the new fashionable clothing line “Opel Brand Collection” carries logos from throughout the company’s history and displays Opel Youngtimers on t-shirts. And in the company’s headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Opel is currently showing historical advertising graphics from the 1930s by the Berlin artist Bernd Reuters.

The Art Deco character of his illustrations and car brochures greatly influenced the style of pre-war advertising. With just a few strong, expressive lines and colour patches, Reuters’ clear graphic language creates an atmosphere that captivates the observer. The graphic artist also spent time contemplating the artistic styling of automobiles.

It’s no coincidence that Bernd Reuters’ work is again being exhibited as sculpturally artistic design is a defining characteristic of new Opel models. Mark Adams, Vice President GM Europe Design and responsible for the Opel Insignia design, emphasizes the connection between “sculptural artistry and German precision” as a distinctive element of new Opel models. The emotional and creative energy that results from a successful symbiosis of design and art has made an impression on car buyers: to date over 90,000 Insignias have been ordered.

The long and varied history of Opel automotive design is omnipresent at the Rüsselsheim plant. Around 300 classic cars are in the “Opel Classic” garage, where visitors can get a closer look at this collection of historical Opel models. For many of these visitors, seeing the Opel classic cars is a trip down memory lane. Models like the Rekord P1 with its distinctive panorama windshield, the legendary Opel GT and the Opel Calibra are design icons that had an impact on the quotidian culture of their times.

“A car brand can only win over customers and their brand loyalty – for over 110 years – when it cultivates strong emotional ties,” says Mark Adams. “Advertising artists like Bernd Reuters realized over 70 years ago how expressive a clear, flowing design can be. Opel cars from the 1930s like the Moonlight Roadster, the Admiral or the 1938 Kadett convertible offered him the perfect original for his images. Future Opel models such as the next Astra generation, which picks up the Insignia design, are set to develop the exact same emotional impact that made the brand so successful in the past.”

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