Developing a strong global brand design strategy for a line-up of new luxury cars is hard enough. Adding in design responsibility for the brand logo, the supporting electric vehicle (EV) battery swap stations, brand experience centres and a wide range of lifestyle products makes it a gargantuan task, but one that Kris Tomasson was excited to take on. He joined Chinese start-up Nio in 2015, tasked with overseeing all creative activity since its inception.
“We wanted a DNA that was recognisable,” he asserts. “We had a clean sheet of paper, with no history to influence us, but we had to design something ownable and unique.” Early on he set out four key design principles: everything needs to be pure, human, sophisticated and progressive. “Those four words are straightforward to communicate and translate well into other languages. They are a great tool for our designers. We always look at everything through that filter.”