Evinrude Brochure Charmer Causes Me To Rethink Buttercup!

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As a designer, I always fall for a great design. And from time to time, you can tell when a very talented designer was hired to do even the simplest of projects. I can see with this simple 1958 Evinrude Brochure that this was the case. Its so well done, I want to buy an accessory.

A generator!

Simplex controls!

It also shows the perfect yellow that I was looking for BUTTERCUP. So, I suppose in a way, great design has inspired me to go back to yellow for buttercup?


Art direction at its best. Note! There is a story being told in the photo. Note the teenage boy on the right and the teenage daughter on the left. ROMANCE? Note, The colors. Yellow Boat, seat, hat, and yellow on the shirt on the right. Stripes on shirts. No complex patters. The little girls wave balances the photo so its level.  Even the work boat in the background is sitting, while our heroes are having fun.  I would bet the farm on that the art director of this brochure went on to be a great in the business of design. This photo was very very well thought through. Even though you don’t see it, you feel it. That is the true power of great design.

Note this 1958 Evinrude ad. Great concept and same boat. I would think this was shot on the same shoot as the brochure. Different models and wardrobe. But note how the belt and boat are the same color. Genus! I need a break from work.. UGH.. I am in detail hell!


The yellow

Back to the yellow.

I’m in Yellow hell!

19 replies
  1. Duster
    Duster says:

    I get it Matt. Totally. Just yesterday my neighbor asked if I could come over and sense check a bit of ‘pimping’ he was doing on his replica Porsche Speedster.
    I get over there and he’s agonising over a graphic he’s designing that’s going to be hidden away on the firewall of the engine bay. 99.9% of people are never going to see this thing but boy he is excited about how it’s going to look when it does eventually get seen.
    We spent an hour theorising on what the factory might’ve done, if they had done which of course they hadn’t but if they had. Did it look real or had he crossed the line into ‘try hard’ or just plain wrong?
    You and I talked in Clayton about how long I took to get the colour right on the custom trailer for Casper. That grey was one in a million, literally. It bugged me for weeks but in the end I got it right. I enjoyed the process and the finished result is stunning. Today I get easily as many compliments on the trailer as I do the boat.
    My neighbor is going to get that graphic right too and he’s going to be pretty much the only guy to see it! Who ever does see it will think it’s always been there because it will look right.
    That’s the crazy thing about great design, you hardly notice it.
    Good luck on picking that one in a million yellow.

  2. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    The one on the right is closest to what you want, but not quite.
    I’ll tell you that so you will go and get a whole new set of color chips to agonize over.🤨

  3. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    The little pocket cruiser, Cavalier, on the left is a true classic design. I remember those from my long ago youth. Matt always sees these things with an eye I don’t have but appreciate.
    For me, pick a color and Go Boating…as to Buttercup…wow that engine is on a acute angle if she is sitting close to level? I guess that is wheat “strikes the eve” of a gearhead like me.
    Guys at Smith Mountain lake having a seminar today….Eric Zelman is attending…beautiful day her in Va.
    John in VA.

    • Danny B
      Danny B says:

      Great color! So cheerful looking (isn’t that a good thing for a boat?), and really brings out the blonde accents in the mahogany around the windshield.

  4. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    Yellow Matt.
    Here is a yellow color. Can you tell I have young kids. They both like boating in our sexy U22, if only it would stop SNOWING.

  5. Verne
    Verne says:

    I enjoyed seeing the ’58 Evinrude Starflite in the header photo. That was their first year for the V4, rated at 50hp. It included a starter and the generator. It’s sibling, the Four Fifty was the same motor without those standard features. They don’t appear very often.

  6. Miles kapper
    Miles kapper says:

    On a related note it was Brooks Stevens who designed pretty much all of the Evinrudes in the 50’s and 60’s not to mention their boats. He designed everything from Washing machines to Studebakers and his mantra was people will buy a new item to keep up with the neighbor even if there isn’t anything different under the hood. It was Brooks, not Evinrude’s marketing dept that came up with the Evinrude Lark. Same engine as the Big Twin but because of the fancier cowling it will appeal to a market that wouldn’t normally consider an Evinrude.

  7. Briant
    Briant says:

    Yes, great adverts…except for….

    The one with the suited up dude with his son in jeans and tucked in striped shirt, pointing to a boat, when said boat just happens to be blasting by full tilt feet away from the dock…

    And the caption says, “quit dreaming”….

    As in, “see son, that jackass ought to stop being so reckless otherwise he can quit dreaming that the local Sheriff won’t nail him with a ticket.”…

    Or as in, “keep dreaming kid because there is no way in hell that we can afford a boat, given our mortgage, my cheap boss who won’t pay a decent wage, and the way that your mother spends money”…

    Or as in, “Dad look, the Johnsons have a boat, can we get one too? Hum, you’re right son, I am going to quit dreaming and actually do something for once and buy us a boat! Whoo hoo!”

    And I have said it before, but who in the Sam Hill gets all dressed up and heads on down to the dock to watch some boats? I have NEVER seen anyone on a dock all dressed to the nines.

    So many mixed messages….

    I do like the yellows….that Primrose Yellow on an 1967 MGB always looked really nice….

  8. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Loved those ads from back in the 50’s. Century had an artist back in the day that painted the bochures and they were and are truly works of art. I love my 1960 Century Ski Dart brochure of the Marilyn Monroe type of girl skiing behind!

  9. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    have you looked at lemonade yellow available form George Kirby Jr. Paint Co of New Bedford, Mass ? Perfect match to the old Pettit lemonade yellow form the 1950s and 1960s

  10. Matt
    Matt says:

    yes, that yellow on the right is lemonade yellow from Kirby. this is the petitt color book fro 1958. The year of BUTTERCUP

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