Aside from being a SaabsUnited Crew Member by night: my day-job consists of writing software. It is for this reason that you would be right in thinking that is rather odd for a Software Engineer to discuss an artistic topic such as automotive visual design. But, the fact of the matter is: just as there is a heavy artistic component to visual design, there is a lot of interesting science at play as well. What us Saab fans refer to as “design language” is really just a set of special rules that Saab designers follow when they are making changes to a current model vehicle to give it a more updated, fresh and modern look. Of course, there is no denying the artistic component to this work (which from my drawings below is sorely lacking), but when all of the embellishments are eliminated we arrive to a fundamental core that is decidedly linear and dare I say: elegant.
And to the right, my friends would be the fundamental Saab grill. It really is quite simple: a vertically bisected trapezoid with two slanted “bands” on the left and right. Saabs of the 1970’s and 1980’s sport this grill in its most simplest form as we see in the picture shown below, to the left.