October 5, 2020
Top Ford designer and Stamps alumni Rob Brancheau (BFA ‘08) recently revealed his design secrets for the 2021 Ford F-150. As the senior color and materials designer, Brancheu chose the colors, fabrics, leathers, and stitching for the interior and exterior of 13 trim levels on the vehicle scheduled to be built and sold later this year. Brancheu explained his process of brainstorming what it means to be a different kind of F-150, as each trim level varies in cost and fits a different kind of customer:
“If the vehicle were to have a spirit of a person, what would make that vehicle comfortable?...If someone lives in Los Angeles, they might dress differently than someone in the Midwest, they might be edgy versus conservative. What might the vehicle want to be if it had a choice?”
Designing the 2021 F-150 was personal for Brancheau. Growing up six miles from a Ford plant, he dreamed about someday working for the company, but a college degree wasn’t something he was guaranteed. The type of truck one drove was always a source of pride for Brancheau and his friends and family. His first F-150 was a 1997 model that he drove to all of his jobs as a professional carpenter, which he worked as for six years to save up for design school. “Earning a college degree for me was a milestone. My family was really proud I got a job at Ford. You live in the Downriver area, you go out to lunch and see Ford employees everywhere. Now, being on the color and materials management team, it felt like home. It felt like family. It was a good fit,” said Brancheau.