The role of design in racing

APR 2 – Not car design, but graphic design. In a previous post I mentioned branding and where Formula 1 succeeded and Indycar seemed to fail. As a graphic designer, I do my best to keep my thumb on where design is going, who’s doing the best work; and where I can, I look for where great design is being applied to the automotive or motorsports industries.

Interstate is a design firm that has had a hand in a lot of motorsports, and motorsports-related creative work and direction. Their list of clients ranges from Porsche to the Formula One Group, to race tracks, to race teams, to sponsors. Needless to say, their work is hugely impressive. But one case study they’ve posted sticks out to me: this case study showcases the process that went into creating a book to show that in the depths of the financial crisis, there was still value in Formula 1; there’s still a profound emotional and alluring value to being a part of Formula 1, as well as a financial and marketing value.

I could easily see Indianapolis Motor Speedway doing something like this for the Indianapolis 500 and the Indycar series that showcases the rich history and pageantry of Indy car racing. When I talk about how the Indycar series presents itself to the world, and compare it to Formula 1, this is an example of where Indy car racing can be deficient and where Formula 1 knows that a lot of good can be done with a little polish in your presentation.

The Power of Formula 1

“In 2009, as Formula 1™ headed towards its diamond anniversary the global economy was in free-fall and with it, the entire value chain of what big companies invested their money in and considered critical to success.

“F1’s usual diet of global brand partners and glamourous locations was running well but there was a growing feeling that the sport was not communicating its quality and value.

“Unsurprisingly Formula 1 was not immune and sensing he could better leverage its strengths, Mr Ecclestone asked us to develop something that would capture the sport’s unique heritage and leverage its value and relevance to current and future business leaders around the world.”

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