People have developed the ability to see faces in places where there might not be one, like in the way windows line up on a house or the way the front of a car looks. It makes you feel like you know and are close to an inanimate object. This is called “anthropomorphizing,” and people have done it since the beginning of time.
Many people in the modern world see faces or parts of faces in their cars. When making cars, many designers put the headlights and grilles in places that make the car look like a friendly or excited face when we look at it.
Why do they do this, though?
Several studies have been done on this topic, and the results show that when we look at a car that looks like a face, our brains’ facial recognition cortex lights up. We feel like we know the object, so we are more willing to accept it.
Read on to find out more about why people often think cars look like they have faces and why that might be on purpose.
Who Designs the Look of a Car?
The overall look of a car is designed by a group of people, but not everything they come up with can be used. Because the government has strict rules that must be followed for almost every part of car design, many parts of car design are thrown out.
You might be surprised to learn that there are rules about how big headlights and taillights can be, how sharp decorative creases and other exterior accents can be, and more.
For the interior, a team of designers will fine-tune the gauges and controls, decide on things like lighting and seat placement, and choose the upholstery for the seats, floors, and ceilings. This is done so that neither the driver nor the people in the car are less safe, and the car still meets all government rules.
When it comes to the outside of the car, which can look like a face, and the front of the car, designers will choose a wide range of features and how they work together. For example, if a car has big headlights, it might have a small grille in the middle to make it look friendlier or more feminine.
The exterior designers will also decide on the general shape of the car and how the main body and trim colours work together. This has a direct effect on how the car looks and may help draw attention to a familiar face if you look at the front of the car.
Before a car goes into production, its shape and proportions are figured out with 3D computer modelling and clay sculptures. People also use sketches and computers to make changes easier than they could with a clay sculpture.
Why Do Cars Look Like They Have a Face?
Pareidolia is the name for when people see a face or features of a face in things that don’t actually have faces. This can be clouds, bits of dirt on clothes, or the lines in a piece of lumber.
A lot of people also say that they can see a face or the main features of a face on the front of their car, and research backs this up. When people see a car that looks like a face, their brains react the same way they would if they saw a familiar person.
This is called “pareidolia,” and it’s a way for us to feel more connected to our cars. In many cases, car designers try to give their cars facial features on purpose.
The headlights can be the eyes, the grille can be the nose or mouth, and other nearby features, like an emblem or front spoilers, can help complete the illusion. Some researchers say that most people are attracted to vehicles that look aggressive or bold, while others say that they like vehicles that have faces that look more cute and childlike.
No matter which face you recognise and what trait you use to describe it, being able to recognise your car’s face can make you feel better about that brand or model.
It feels like an old friend to you, and car designers will go to great lengths to make sure that feeling stays the same as the car gets updated.
Related Questions / Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does my car look angry?
People have said that the front of many high-end sports cars looks aggressive, strong, or masculine. The front of the car looks like a person’s face, and the slanted headlights and narrow grille can give it a very serious look.
What is Pareidolia?
This is the term for recognising faces in places where there aren’t any, like clouds, cars, wood grain, or oil puddles on the ground. Anthropomorphizing is a similar thing that happens when people give inanimate things, like computers, human traits.
Am I weird if I think my car is smiling at me?
The fronts of many cars are made to look friendly or like they’re having a good time. The newer model of the Volkswagen Beetle is one of the cars that looks the most friendly. People have said that the headlights and crease on the back of the car look like a smiling face.
Even if you don’t think you see a face in the front of your car or think the whole idea is silly, car designers do try to make their cars trigger the part of the brain that recognises faces.
If you can recognise a face in the car and it looks like it has a good attitude, like being strong or happy, you will feel more comfortable with the car’s maker.