Fueling Creativity

Harley J. Earl posing with his famous 1950s concept cars, the Firebirds.

Backstory: What “Cars” Were When Earl Started

The infamous Ford Model T. Unflinching in its design for nearly 20 years, but utterly ubiquitous. Right: a parking lot full of Model Ts at the 1916 World Series.
The custom 1919 car that Harley Earl designed for actor Fatty Arbuckle — The ah, Brad Pitt of his time.

Rethinking the Medium

A 1933 clay model by GM’s Art and Styling division under Harley J. Earl. (Image credit CadillacLaSalleClub.org)

Design Within Reach — For Real

The 1927 La Salle: Harley J. Earl’s first mass-market success.

Innovating Through Design Thinking

An ad for the 1948 Cadillac. The world’s first automotive tail fins, for a post-war audience.

Understanding Consumers Faster

Earl in the world’s first concept car: his oddly-named 1938 Buick Y-Job

Creating Brand Appeal

An ad for GM’s “Motorama” traveling car show of the 1950s. Corvette played the part of a “halo car,” drawing people to the brand. (Image credit: HarleyJEarl.com)
A 1950s Harley J. Earl posing next to Firebirds I, II, and III.

A Cautionary Tale: When Reflecting Your Users Goes Too Far

The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. A fin too far.

Taking Full Ownership

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Product design manager and curious individual. I love AI, maps, problem-solving, transit, privacy & safety issues, and photography. SF native.

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J.T. Trollman

J.T. Trollman

Product design manager and curious individual. I love AI, maps, problem-solving, transit, privacy & safety issues, and photography. SF native.

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