This Sunday marks the 100th running of the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and to commemorate the event, Firestone has produced a special tire. Firestone announced this version of the Firehawk racing tire back on February 19th of this year, at the 100-day mark prior to the Indy 500.
The special edition tire has bright red sidewall markings of the brand-name and logo, as well as every driver’s name who has won the 500 using Firestone tires. In all, that number stands at 66 spanning back to Ray Harroun in the first 500 in 1911 and up to the current champion Juan Pablo Montoya in 2015. The tire’s visual design is visually refined by the inclusion of red “F-shield” logos at 90 degree offsets to the red Firestone name, and the 100th Running logo created by the Speedway to commemorate the century mark. The winners’ names are listed in chronological order from Harroun forward, along the sidewall in high-contrast white ink and stand out from the black sidewalls with great definition.
It’s this kind of thing that makes me love graphic design. Yes I know this is a splendid piece of promotional marketing, but in the end someone had to design this. A graphic designer, and an art director for sure. Probably a committee had some say in the final executed result. It doesn’t matter how we got here, its the fact that someone thought about this little detail, and executed it so well. I can’t wait to see every car lined up wearing these shoes tomorrow.
After a succesful Kickstarter campaign last year, production on Graphic Means started and it looks like it is getting close to a release date. When it hopefully comes to a theater near me I’ll be going to see it. I want to see it for the history not the nostalgia, well maybe a bit of the nostalgia. The thing is, I did all the things shown in the trailer from paste up, to color stripping and I do not want to go back to it. Sorry folks, the computer changed everything and the way we design today is better. Yes graphic design is still a refined craft that takes a lot of skill and dedication. No design wasn’t better back then simply because it was analog. I hated making Chromalins, doing paste up, and cutting color separations by hand. Did it teach me a lot? Hell yes, there are things I learned 30 years ago that still apply to what I do today, but that doesn’t mean I want to go back to the olden pre-digital days.
The trailer looks good, and the history of how the graphic design business has evolved should be pretty interesting though. So yes, I’ll be sitting in the theater, reminiscing and hopefully learning about the history of my trade as well.
I’m always on the look out for good sources of inspiration, and this morning I found a great one. The Carnegie Mellon Swiss Poster Collection with over 300 images from 1970 through 2009. The extensive collection was established by Swiss graphic designer Ruedi Ruegg and Professor Daniel Boyarski, and contains works from designers Max Bill, Paul Bruhwiler, Ruedi Kulling, Herbert Leupin, Josef Muller-Brockmann, Roger Pfund, Ruedi Ruegg, Niklaus Troxler, Wolfgang Weingart, Kurt Wirth, R. Schraivogel, Cornel Windlin, and many more.
When you think about graphic design, the last thing you probably think about is total nuclear destruction, or chemical weapons, but back during the analog days of the cold war the two were oddly connected. The images below are analog calculators from the late 1940’s through the 1970’s. They come from a period of time when the world was locked in a cold war, with the possibility of it turning nuclear hot. These calculators were used by the military to quickly determine in the field things like blast potential, damage potential, fall out rates, chemical weapons effects. They are chilling, oddly fascinating, and in some ways striking examples of visual design.
Each of these calculators follows a basic design formula. They had to be easy to read, and use in extreme conditions. For the most part they follow that rule. Type faces are sans serif, color pallets are bright or minimal, legibility is good even though they had to cram so much data into each one, the layout while predetermined by the math, is visually appealing, and if you look at these objects removed from their original context, they are visually interesting. From a production standpoint we have to bear in mind that the original design for these objects was completely done by hand using ink pens, french curves, ruby-lith, and possibly type pasted up by hand. Pretty impressive when you think about the intricate curves, and type that is set on an arc.
If you want to know more about these devices, why and how they were used, click through to Calculating for some fairly interesting reading.
Bosnian graphic designer Zoran Lucic has created a series of posters featuring some of the greatest football player of all time. (soccer players for all the American readers). The posters have great layouts, typography, high contrast photos, and color pallets with individual styles that cover a wide range and are reflective of the period for each player. Really nice work from Lucic. If you click the link above you can see the entire series. I have included about 25 of them in the slide show below, but his Behance page has at least 50.
The latest segment in the “Die Hard” series has hit theaters and to celebrate the explosive event, RSA has put together a few infographics. The images below chronicle what was blown up, punched, broken destroyed, hurt, vanquished, saved, rescued, and said, along with the cost to insure John McClane. I like these because they are not only packed with fun facts, but because they are really well designed with solid layouts and a nice graphical style.
I am on some sort of poster kick this morning. While trolling the internets looking for design inspirations, I found another set of posters that I love. This set of posters designed by Pogo features quotes by philosophers, authors, poets and an occasional proverb. The posters themselves show stunning examples of typography, color pallet, and layouts. The overall typographic layout for each of these is really wonderful, standing on its own aside from the actual quote.