Top Ford designers behind 2021 F-150 reveal behind-the-scenes stories

Behind the scenes, bringing to life the 2021 Ford F-150 consumed Josh Henry.

He worked on pickup truck design by day. Then he applied his design knowledge after work to create a stunning modern industrial home in Ferndale that incorporated key elements of the truck. Both projects took four years.

“Everything was happening simultaneously,” said Henry, 32, a senior designer whose team led the exterior updates. “You’d see all the different trades how they were using the F-150s firsthand. The siding guys, they have to climb on the roof a lot. They have to reach all parts of the house and I could see how they were storing four or five or six ladders on the truck.”

Ford senior designer Josh Henry is creating a character line with tape on the 2021 F-150 clay model. A character line is a subtle curve or indentation that gives the vehicle a unique shape and may not be noticed by the average consumer. This image was taken in 2018.

At the time, he was sketching early images of what would become the final 2021 F-150 design. The popular pickup is the blood that courses through the veins of Ford. Finance people call the F-Series the company’s golden goose. So redesign is a big hairy deal.

“We wanted something that has a confident look, that feels strong. It could be just a detail, maybe as simple as one line on the fender or grille  shape or head lamp or interaction with the bumper,” Henry said.

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