Athletics builds a bold brand for 15-year-old motorsports star, Alba Larsen

“This project wasn’t just about creating design; it was about telling a story and inspiring the next generation of female athletes.”

1 May 2024

At just 15 years old, Alba Hurup Larsen is one of the most exciting young female stars of motorsport racing, breaking the boundaries of girls and women in the male-dominated sport. New York’s Athletics studio has been brought on by Alba’s team to create a bold brand for the young sports star, one that highlights her personality and unique position in the sport. The team set out to create something that was fresh, but also played on the visual tradition of motorsport racing. “The visual identity and branding part of this project was particularly exciting because it gave us the chance to craft a narrative around a female protagonist in a compelling and visually striking way,” says Malcolm Buick, creative director at Athletics. “This project wasn’t just about creating a design; it was about telling a story and inspiring the next generation of female athletes.”

Alba’s been named by Ferrari and FIA as the fastest girl in her age group, and highlighted by Formula One stars Kevin Magnussen and Tom Christensen as the young female talent most likely to make it into the professional arena, Athletics tells us. While women aren’t historically absent in motorsports and F1 – figures Maria Teresa de Filippis, Lella Lomardi and Desire Wilson have been made have been making their marks on the tracks since 1950 – it’s often sidelined women, putting little funding into helping their growth in the sport, and currently there are no women racing at a grand prix level.


Athletics: Alba (Copyright © Athletics, 2024)

A rounded, buoyant wordmark sits at the centre of the identity, inspired by “the contrast of curved and straight lines on the racetrack”, says Loli Vaccaro, designer at Athletics. Uplifting Alba’s first name was a conscious choice from the studio, actively going against the tradition in F1 (and wider sports) of referring to sports people by their surname – “distinguishing her in a domain where last names are normative”, says senior executive Lars Hemming Jorgensen. The wordmark is intended to be memorable, with a “hint of femininity” that sets her apart from other drivers – but its 60s energy and feel also harks back to traditional, emulating vintage motorsports logos. “This strategic branding does more than enhance her visibility – it attracts partnerships that align closely with her values and mission, positioning Alba as a pivotal figure in shaping motorsports’ future,” says Lars.

To counterbalance the bold wordmark, Loli says that the team wanted to imbue a sense of “youthful energy and femininity” into the rest of the system. Half of the colour palette – red yellow and black – draws on tradition, while the complementary pinks and blues “breathe life into the palette”. Aspects of the identity also play in the chequered racing flag, utilising the contrasting colour palette combinations and adding animated elements to work alongside static ones. This is then all held up by Athletics’ chosen typeface, GT Planar, which Loli sees as perfect for the project, “because it conveys a sense of speed with its various italic options”.

Athletics aims to create something that distinguishes Alba from other drivers while leaning into motorsport traditions, and has created a visual look that’s fresh and fun in equal measure. Reflecting on the project, for the team the most compelling part has been designing an identity for such an exciting young figure. “Alba Larsen isn’t just a talented driver; she’s a trailblazer in a field that has historically been male-dominated,” says Malcolm. “The opportunity to design for someone who breaks barriers and sets new standards in racing was incredibly inspiring.”

GalleryAthletics: Alba (Copyright © Athletics, 2024)

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Athletics: Alba (Copyright © Athletics, 2024)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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