The Formula One Logo

For the average Kenyan, formula one racing is surely in the back burner of his cares. Yes, he can recognize the image of the racing car. He can also drop or two names of characters like; Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimmi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton. But they may not put faces to the names. Hell, he doesn’t even know who is retired and who is not. Most of the details beyond those are misty and hazy.

Those who are a bit curious are familiar with the loved and iconic logo that the formula one have always had. I learned a bit recently that the logo was changed to a new one. It appears that I was not the only one with that didn’t welcome the news. The old logo seemed perfect. Change is like rest, they say. But this one appeared to be “change for change’s sake”. Or maybe I am just being human, struggling to adapt to it (change).

The Old formula One Logo Details

The former F1 logo.


The old logo was designed by Carter Wong in 1994. It was what a teacher could use as an example of all the qualities that makes a great logo. Describable, simple, Impactful, scalable, it had them all.

The F1 logo had red and black colors mostly seen on a white background.
It was blunt about showing everyone that it was the sport about the fastest thing on four wheels ever made by man. It perfectly embodied the core forces of F1 racing – speed, attack, and control. The initials F and 1 slanted and serrated showed great speed.

The red on the speed trail serrations represents passion and energy. The black color represents power and determination.

The Need for Change

The commercial demands of the sport is what necessitated the conversation for change in the design of the formula one logo. Apparently, the logo would struggle for attention when thrown in the sea of the other brands in the track.

“Reposition the Formula One as a forward facing entertainment brand, which works across a multitude of channels.”

The formula re-design brief

The New Formula One Logo Design Details

The new formula one logo design was done by Wieden+ Kennedy. It was launched in November 2017.

Here is the finished logo design.

The present F1 logo.

It is also a slanted “F” and “1” symbol constructed out of three panels. It can also be interpreted to be some red form with a white line between the panels to try and depict the initial F and 1 to something like what has been done to the CNN or ESPN logos.

It is a depiction of the profile of the form of a race car. It also a depiction of the view of a formula one track with a corner in the distance.

Reactions to the Logo

With the logo reveal, there were different responses for and against it.

“Shame to see our F1 logo go. But it’ll always be part of our history of which we are proud. We are positive and hopeful for its future.”

Carter Wong, the designers to the former logo shared this on twitter,

“Thank you for giving us such a hard act to follow”.This was after the launch of the new logo. Such a classy act from them.

Wieden + Kennedy sent a package to Carter and Wong with the words

“The new logo is much more flexible in terms of its use, especially when it comes to application on merchandising, and in the digital world. It has an impact. The old logo was neither iconic or memorable.”

Ross Brown F1’s Managing Director

I don’t agree with him on the last part though.

” That identity is also built out of this idea that Formula One is full of logos. It’s a sport of logos. And we wanted to celebrate or lean into that as opposed to trying to resist it.”

Turley, who’s the Global Executive Creative Director for the design for F1.

So there friends, from face value, the logo seems inferior to its predecessor. But the stories behind it justify the change and the direction that the sports management is headed.

Here is a link to the logo reveal


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