To the untrained eye, Formula 1 just looks like a procession of cars around a track, but to the enthusiast, the sport is full of suspense, precision, and risk. Formula 1 had its first race all the way back in 1950, and has entertained and surprised ever since. The sport is the fastest and most valuable racing series in the world; boasting the best drivers, mechanics, and sponsors. Millions view each race as the competition travels around the globe.
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Formula 1 isn’t just a sport anymore it is a worldwide brand. So with every good need a good logo. Within the last year, the Formula 1 sport had been sold to Liberty Media who have decided to rebrand, and task the creation of a new logo to Wieden + Kennedy based in London.
This is what they said about their creation:
“Creatively, the challenge was to reposition Formula 1 as a forward-facing entertainment brand, which works across a multitude of channels. The new mark embodies the core forces of Formula 1 racing: speed, attack, and control; while its sleek, sharp interlocking components celebrate the technical prowess of Formula 1 engineering teams.
Its aesthetic is aspirational and leans into the future, but extends naturally from a rich heritage of motorsport graphics.”
Before we look at the new logo, let’s have a look at the one that has been left behind after representing the sport for 23 years. The old logo featured the initials F1, much like the new one. At first glance, the red triangles looked like the 1. However, when you look closer you realise that the 1 is actually found in the negative space between the other two features of the logo.
Old Formula One Logo Featuring a Clever Use of Negative Space
The new Formula 1 logo features just the initials of the sport too. The F is curved and has a line through the middle representing the track that the drivers race on. The 1 isn’t as subtle as it was in the last logo, being just next to the F and acting almost as a track boundary. Overall the logo in harkening back to the old era of motorsport with a vintage feel, while also looking clean and modern. The choice of colours, red and black, were already established in the old logo. The red in the new creation is slightly brighter, differentiating the two even more.
The New Formula One Logo Created by Wieden + Kennedy
A number of versions of a logo design were put together (these formed part of an internal book that put all the variants together in one place), the final selected logo was actually a favourite throughout the design process.
“When that one went on the board … it just didn’t come down; it’s one of those ones that had a kind of presence to it,”
“Quite frankly I just thought, look, there’s no way that we’re going to do an ‘F’ and ‘1’ any better than they’ve done it; it’s a beautifully simple way of doing it. We knew that we were up against a very good logo, [one] that has a huge amount of heritage to it, and that if we were going to blow it up then there had to be a methodology and a reasoning to it.”
said Richard Turley who is the Executive Creative Director of content and design and led the creative team for Wieden+Kennedy London
The logo is complemented by a suite of typefaces designed by Marc Rouault, a young French designer whose portfolio had impressed Turley and the design team.
The typefaces created for the sport will be used on promotional materials. All three fonts look futuristic while adding a small amount of retro flair at the same time. All the fonts are Sans-Serif and nicely rounded to fit in with the overall presentation.
The Three New Typefaces For Use on F1 Material Created by Marc Rouault
The reception to the new logo was mixed. Many fans still liked the old style and felt that the new rebrand was a way of showing that the sport was under new management. As a Formula 1 fan myself, I was slightly upset with the new logo too, as I thought the old one was doing a great job representing the sport. However, now I’ve looked at the new logo and its uses, I can see it working well in the new era of the sport that Liberty Media will bring us. I believe the new logo looks clean, simple, and sporty, and should be a good representation of the sport for years to come.