Formula One is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950.
The "formula," designated in the name, refers to a set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races known as Grands Prix, which are held worldwide on purpose-built circuits and public roads. It is the top-tier single-seat auto racing competition in the world, with the fastest cars in the world, competing in multiple Grand Prix events around the world each season. In 1950, there were only seven Grands Prix races, but with the rising popularity of the sport, 2017 saw 20 Grands Prix events around the world.
In November 2017, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last race of the 2017 season, Formula 1 introduced a new logo designed by the London office of creative agency Wieden + Kennedy. The new design is the first part of a wider rebranding of the sport that will take place in March ahead of the 2018 season opener in Australia.
Richard Turley, executive creative director of content and design, led the project for W+K London. “Creatively, the challenge was to reposition Formula 1 as a forward-facing entertainment brand, which works across a multitude of channels,” he said.
The new logo replaces F1's iconic 'flying one' that was designed in 1987 by Carter Wong. The previous design featured a black, bold letter ‘F’ and a red ‘1’. In the old logo, the extreme italic angle and the fast lines on the right made it clear the logo was about speed. Over the years, this logo built a huge fanbase around the world as well as a lot of equity.
While the new logo’s monogram still reads as ‘F1’, the characters are much more abstracted. This logo also prominently features the color red for both characters, creating a unified and attention-grabbing look.
The logo echoes the shape of a Formula 1 car: flat, low to the ground, suggesting top speeds. Its modern-yet-retro feel leans into the extreme and dynamic nature of the sport and is designed to work across a variety of platforms. It positions the company to reposition itself as a lifestyle and entertainment brand, and not solely a sports-events company.
The new logo intends to embody the core forces of Formula 1 racing: speed, attack, and control. The logo’s new sleek and sharp interlocking components celebrate the technical prowess of the Formula 1 engineering teams. It extends from Formula 1’s rich heritage of motorsport graphics, but leans into the future and is aspirational.
F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches said that the decision to change the logo had come about because the old design was not useful for modern digital platforms nor merchandise. Changing logos of globally recognized and appreciated brands is also a consistent seal of quality and promises fans that the brand will continue to evolve for the better.
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