A Prickly Situation: Volkswagen Reverse-Engineer Project

This assignment explores the use of contrast, repetition, alignment,  proximity and color in design. The advertisement below for Volkswagen Precision Parking was produced by Cerebro Y and R, Panama.





The overall subdued color palette in this ad contrasts sharply with the orange goldfish, drawing the eye to the fish, which represent a line of drivers attempting to parallel park. The surfaces also create a contrast. The backdrop has a smooth, slightly shiny surface. The water is luminous. Both have a somewhat soft appearance, which contrasts with the rough texture of the porcupine’s prickles and fur.


repetition volkswagen

Repetition is achieved here through the repeating line of goldfish. The simple font and its small size subtly repeats the minimalist look of the page.



The fish and porcupine in this ad are aligned with one another and create a line that runs from one corner of the page to the other. This line is also equidistant from the two opposite corners. The text is right-aligned and the bottom text also aligns with the logo.



This ad uses the principle of proximity in the positioning of the bottom text. The goldfish and porcupine lined in a row create a more subtle type of proximity, drawing the eye there first, causing the viewer to wonder about the ad’s message.



This ad is almost entirely done in shades of gray and blue-gray. The addition of the orange fish creates a playful, humorous tone and hones in on Volkswagen’s message, which is that parallel parking can be as tricky as placing bags of goldfish next to a porcupine.


The spare design and thoughtful use of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity make for an intriguing and effective ad. The lighting and blank space in the left-hand corner give the eye a break, while the shaded area in the lower right corner draws the eye to the logo. The orange color works well against the muted gray and blue tones.


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