Auto Racing

The ArtRage Motor Sports Series Number 9.

As I go through the process of creating these images, I’m struggling between two styles. Loose and painterly, vs tight and controlled with a ton of detail. I have to admit, I like the looser, more painterly look, but I’m also drawn to the accuracy and detail of the other… I need to find a middle ground. This illustration of a late 1950’s Porsche Spider might be a start. Only time and practice will tell.



A Day in the Life of an Audi Driver. Allan McNish, on Driving Le Mans.

This being Memorial Day weekend, there are a few traditions that happen every year. The Indianapolis 500 is run, and people all over America bar-b-que and hang with family. This is for all the racing fans out there. If you watch the Indy 500, I know you will appreciate this video for that is currently at the Audi Channel on YouTube.

Audi has created a new  video titled “A Day in the Life of an Audi Driver”. It has a really nice stylized look and combines video, animation, motion graphics, and CGI work to create a great 3 minute story that encapsulates what driving Le Mans is like. Audi’s video shows Audi Team Joest driver Allan McNish talking about the hundreds of people and hundreds of hours that go into planning for the 24 Hours at Le Mans race.

As I meantioned earlier the video currently lives at Audi’s YouTube channel but will be broadcast to the world on May 28 during Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final soccer game.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place June 11-12 at Circuit de la Sarthe in France.


2011 F1 Racing Posters.

The Formula 1 Racing season has begun, and with it have come a new line of F1 posters designed by PJ Tierney from Ireland. The posters remind me of classic racing posters from the late 1950’s through 1960’s with simple graphics, bold color pallets, consistent layouts, and a unified use of typography across all of them.

There is an interview with Tertulias de Fórmula 1. on Tierney’s blog which sheds additional light on his design process, and inspiration.

1978 Japan Grand Prix, Suzuka Program.

A friend of mine emailed this image to me earlier today. I don’t know a thing about the designer, or where it was made. I do know that I like it. I love the high contrast black and white theme and the tension created between the ground plane and the background. I’d love to take this look and create an animated racing short.

If anyone reading this can give me some insight to the designer, or the origin of this program cover it would really be appreciated.

Porsche Racing Posters, and Max Huber

I had been searching the internet for information about Swiss designer Max Huber when I found a number of smaller images of auto racing posters that he had designed in the late 40’s to late 50’s. This lead me to another set of discoveries. Porsche Racing posters from the 30’s through 80’s. Now the reason I am posting this set of images, is because they reminded me of Huber’s design style. Not just the three posters by Huber shown above, but his overall style. Huber was a master of the international Swiss style that dominated so much of graphic design that was so prominent in the decades that followed the second world war. I love the use of photography combined with the flat graphical elements in most of these posters. It is amazing how these designs, created years before computer graphics still feel fresh enough to compete with much of the design work that is being produced today. It just goes to show that you can have all the software in the world at your finger tips, but if you don’t have the skills you’re out of luck. I didn’t list credits for the designers on these pieces, but if you look at the bottom of them, there usually is a production mark with the name of the designer and the printer.

The Porsche posters below are actually quite large. Approximately 11 by 14 in size, so if you click on them they might take awhile to load in your browser. By the way. I really like number 16 with Steve McQueen.

The Graphic Design of Racing Cars

I have always been fascinated with the graphic elements on racing cars. Especially vintage racing cars from the 60’s and 70’s before massive product sponsorship trumped any sense of style with a gigantic marketing message. Gestalten has a new release coming out that is available for pre-order on Amazon. “Go Faster The Graphic Design of Racing Cars“, by Sven Voelker. and I am thinking this might be the next book I add to my collection.

Fast cars, anarchy, and graphic design collide on the pages of this book as it chronicles the history of race car graphics and the design behind them. Most people don’t know that racing giants from the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, and Lotus developed their looks not by marketing strategists or graphic designers. In the early days it was by chance.

Go Faster is a collection of over one hundred examples of racing car design that documents the carefree racing world where they were created. Go Faster not only takes its readers on a breakneck ride through images of racing history, but each colorful racing car is featured next to a blank white model. The model shows the lines and shape of the vehicle in its unadorned state. This side by side placement helps the viewer see exactly how the graphics modulate the look of the car. And it gives plenty of room for the viewer to imagine their own possibilities for graphic design in motor sports.

In the book you can see how stripes, colors, logos, and numbers combine to help the car stand out from all others on the track as they go by at top speed.

The time and effort invested in the graphic looks of the race cars is a strange  juxtaposition compared to the aerodynamic shape of the bodywork created by the  engineer for car. But it is precisely this amateur quality, this anarchy and randomness that results in the irresistible attraction that racing cars and their graphics have on us.

Author Sven Voelker is a car enthusiast and graphic designer in Berlin. He is responsible for the global corporate design of the Suzuki Motor Corporation and other clients.

Midlife Crisis, or Just Plain Fun? Just Plain Fun I Think.

SCL_logoOK, many people are going to read this and think that I am having a mid-life crisis. In many ways this might be true, but this is not one of those events. I’m going to be in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, and a friend of mine told me that I should check out the Supercar Life website. Yes the company name is stupid as all hell, but the concept is pretty cool. Especially if you like to drive, want to go fast, and know that it’s going to be a while before you can afford your own Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, or Porsche Turbo 997.

Here is the deal, Supercar Life offers a number of packages with price tags that run from 200 bucks to 5 grand depending on the level of instruction, and the amount of time at the track. While I would love to take the Stage One class, it is only being offered on November 14th and I won’t be in Vegas on that day. The Stage one class offers extensive driving instruction, a full day at the Las Vegas motor speedway, and the chance to drive any or all of the cars that the company owns. It also sets you up for the next two classes, which culminates with Stage Three. Stage Three is a two day course that teaches advanced technical skills. It is a concentrated course that focuses on developing maximum driving potential in track driving and section training. And yes I’d love to do it, but at a cost of almost 9 grand for all three Stage classes, it aint gonna happen any time soon.

I am thinking about going for this thing they call the  “Power Hour” (someone really needs to talk to them about the names they use, but this probably appeals to a large segment of their target audience). The Power Hour is designed for anyone who has the desire to drive a high performance car at speeds they were designed for under the controlled conditions of a race track. The price point for this package is right. You get an hour of some pretty big thrills for $200.00! I put this in the same camp as going sky diving, hang gliding, etc. In addition, I don’t gamble, and this is probably cheaper than hitting the tables, it is something I can cross off of my bucket list, and it is probably as much or more fun than a $200.00 concert/show.

You get to select one of their elite cars, after you receive driving instruction from a professional driver, afterward you get  on the track and follow one of their pro drivers for multiple laps. The best things is that, Supercar Life offers these programs on a variety of days and times throughout the month (more importantly, while I’ll be in Vegas).

Now here is he question. Which car should I choose? Or better yet, which one will my 6 foot 4 inch frame fit into? I’m thinking the Porsche 997 turbo. I’ve driven a 911 and I know I can fit into that, but man the idea of driving the Ferrari F430 just gives me goose bumps.