I picked this brochure up at the Birmingham Motorshow in 1997 or 1998.
The graphic design goes with the fun theme of the car’s design. You could even call it populist and it is soaked in the carefree feeling of that period. Even today the exterior and interior aesthetics are fresh and novel. What must not be forgotten is the ingenuity of its flexible framework architecture which was usefully cheap, meaning Fiat broke even at 40,030 units a year.
While the public had mixed feelings, most of the press disdained the eye-catching style. And yes, it is not conventionally beautiful; in contrast it had formal originality underwritten by engineering innovation that we don’t see today.
The brochure shows off the remarkable cloth-covered dash, the various colourways (redolent of the Citroen palette in the 1970s) and the flexibility of the interior space. This is the back page. Note the evolution of the design theme:
And here is the page showing the Fiat’s shortness compared to a Marea estate. If memory serves, the car covered a little less ground than a Ford Ka though it was wider. The cheerful script adds a lively note to the layout.
The graphic design, mixing an abstract background with a studio photo, is not what one would do today. Web-pages seem to have exactly the same style regardless of the brand: cars in neutral urban settings with few people about or else the car standing on a plain background. Particularly, the photography is very overworked but also quite uniform and faintly unrealistic, as if made up very good digital renderings.
The dashboard is the strangest since the Lancia Trevi and nothing that has come later is more singular in its vision. The current style is very complex and not very readable: it photographs poorly, as far as I can see.
Finally, one of three overhead shots showing the different moods and uses of the interior. In this one, two business women are apparently using the car as a mobile showroom. The rich red cloth is sumptuous: modernity meets a classical feeling.