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.
Counter -Print has released a new book titled Alphabet Logo. It is a compendium of logos designed, with letters from what else… the alphabet.
The book contains over 500 logos from some of the worlds best designers, showcasing companies like; Bond Creative, Bruce Mau Design, Hype Type Studio, Pentagram, Stockholm Design Lab, Wolff Olins and more. It looks like a great design reference book and a ton of inspiration.
We see them everyday. They are impossible to avoid, and yet most of us rarely think of them. I’m talking about automotive logos. The badge that is on the front and rear of almost every single piece of rolling stock in the world.
Those logos are not just the visual symbol of the manufacturer, they are the brand that represents what you think of in terms of quality, luxury, economy, fit and finish.
The infographic below from Car Dealer Review shows how various automotive logos have evolved over time. Some subtlety, others radically. Some of the more interesting examples are the older and smaller brands like Fiat, or Aston Martin.
Some of these I like better than others. I think Burger King should seriously consider going with the hand lettered logo created by Sara Marshall as part of her lettering project Brand by Hand. Other’s like the Coca-Cola logo just aren’t doing it for me. None the less it’s an interesting project, especially when you consider just how hot hand lettering is these days.
One of the the things I really love about these is the skill of execution. By that I mean it is solid hand lettering, that looks good. Not some sketchbooky I don’t give a rip about things like kerning, stuff which seams to have gained huge ground in the design community as of late. As someone that learned how to hand letter decades ago by hand painting store front sings, I have a solid appreciation for the skills it takes to letter like this.