Just a test
“The new mark aims to embody the core forces of Formula 1 racing: speed, attack, and control; while its sleek, sharp interlocking components celebrate the technical prowess of Formula 1 engineering teams.
“Its aesthetic is aspirational and leans into the future, but extends naturally from a rich heritage of motorsport graphics.”
Shading version on white and black backgrounds.
The old logo was designed in 1987 by Carter Wong and it’s one of the best — or, at least, one of the most mainstream and recognizable — uses of negative space in a logo. The extreme italic angle and the fasty-fast lines on the right made it clear the logo was about speed. The old wordmark was highly questionable and I doubt it would withstand media scrutiny if launched today. Still, 30 years is a long time and this logo had built a lot of equity and many, many fans around the world.
It’s hard to tell if there was really a need for this logo to change; I see it more like an NBA/NFL/Olympics-level logo where it isn’t so much about the logo being fashionable or in tune with the whims of the times but instead be a consistent seal of quality. Still, I do understand that the logo was 30 years old and there was a recent change of ownership — with U.S.-based Liberty Media purchasing the F1 and controlling the contracts, worldwide distribution, and commercial management rights and licenses — so the time was right for a major change.
The new logo doesn’t yet instantly (or clearly) scream “F1!” but after one or two seasons of use it definitely will, simply because that’s what people will see when they are watching a Formula 1 event. Right now, the change is jarring because the old one was so clear. Arguably, this monogram reads neither as an “F” nor as a “1” since the characters are so abstracted but since they exist in the context of racing, it’s really not that hard to make the deduction. I’m not emotionally attached to the old logo — I appreciate its cleverness but that’s about it — so I’m not “mad” at this new logo, as many people online are, and I happen to like it, a lot. It breaks from any contemporary conventions of logos: it’s not square to fit in social media avatars, it’s not “flattened”, it’s not hipster, and it’s italicized as hell. It sort of reminds me of the Juventus logo (that many people also despised) where this is being positioned as much as a sports event logo as it is a lifestyle logo with more merchandise/swag appeal. This new logo might not become as beloved as the old one but it has so much more commercial potential and, after all, Formula 1 is big business.
Wordmark. (DISCLAIMER: not official; this image was put together by me based on the F1 Regular image below. There is this other version floating around, with the notched “m”, but that’s not what appears in application in the very last image of this post.)
The new wordmark is based on one of the three custom typefaces designed by The Hague, Netherlands-based Marc Rouault. It has an old United Airlines vibe that I really like although my brain and heart are thoroughly confused by the “a”. I hate it as much as I love it. And that “1” is hot, as are all the numerals. I think this wordmark is hard to swallow because of how… retro it is but I bet if this wordmark had been done in the 1950s and it were getting replaced we would all be moaning about it.