F1 logo redesign: welcome to the future

F1 has revealed the new logo that will be used from the start of 2018 campaign. The “flying one” has remained unchanged for years, so what drives this overhaul?

The logo was unveiled shortly after the podium ceremony in Abu Dhabi. The rumor of new Formula One logo has been around for a while. Some logos have been trademarked prior the season finale, so a new logo is bound to happen.

However, when the long-standing F1 logo was replaced with the new and much simpler logo, the new logo has caused a stir among fans and been met with either critics or muted responses from the drivers.

Even the world champion Lewis Hamilton slammed the new logo, saying that: “Just imagine if Mercedes or Ferrari changed their logo. I don’t think the new one is as iconic, but maybe it will grow on us.” Sebastian Vettel, on the same wavelength, stated that he liked the old one better.

The previous logo, designed 28 years ago by Carter Wong and launched during the 1987 season, was one of the most identifiable logos out there. Featuring a black ‘F’ and white ‘1’ in a negative space (that many of us didn’t even notice this!) highlighted by the red swoosh, the iconic “flying one” represents passion, energy, power, and determination. And the “flying one” has remained unchanged for years. So what drives this sudden logo overhaul?

The new logo, designed by the London advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy (quite unusual, we know), is made of three simple shapes that form an ‘F’ and ‘1’ in solid red, reminding us of a racetrack and its bend. The sport’s marketing director Ellie Norman, explained that the logo was inspired by “the low-profile shape of the car, two cars crossing a finish line”.

The unusually long vertical strokes of the ‘F’ may subtly suggest speed and moving forward.

F1 logo redesign is not the only one that meets harsh comments from fans. Just like the re-branding of Juventus earlier this year, re-branding a logo that’s been around for years is a tricky process. However, the chairman of F1, Chase Carey, defended the bold change, saying that it was to refresh the image of the Formula One. The commercial chief Sean Bratches said that the old logo is no longer fitting for neither the modern digital platforms nor the merchandise. And the new logo works so far.

(Images via Creative Review)

The new typeface seems to hold up well to the new logo. Like its logo counterpart, the sans-serif typeface is bold and full of personality. The brand surely takes advantage from the bold font and the simple logo that the identity can extend into any kind of application across platforms. In other words, the versatility, particularly in printed media, is applaudable.

(Images via Creative Review)

The re-branding of the logo also broadens the sport’s appeal. It re-positions F1 from a motosport company to a media and entertainment brand. We believe that the new identity will help F1 appeal to today’s sport fans. If the company aims so, then the new identity will do the work.

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