Branding agency Prophet has worked with the in-house team at Formula E, the electric street car racing series, to redesign its visual identity. The design team has refined and flattened the existing logo, and created a whole new approach to its brand output from typeface to graphics and colour scheme. The brief was to develop a “more relevant and distinctive identity” to help bring new audiences to the sport and create a distance from traditional motor racing.
“The answer was to stop trying to compete with Formula 1 and move the goal posts completely,” says Greg Handrick, a partner at Prophet. He describes the relatively new sport as “bold and innovative”, which makes it resonate with younger audiences. This led the designers to create what they describe as a “more contemporary and disruptive visual identity… inspired by the rawness of urban city environments”. This comes across, Greg says, in the layered and juxtaposed elements across the identity that give the branding energy, interruption, unpredictability and drama.
Meanwhile design studio DixonBaxi, no strangers to a sporting rebrand, has also worked with Formula E’s in-house designers to develop the TV graphics, title sequences, augmented reality and display systems that bring the updated identity to life on screen. According to DixonBaxi the graphics are fully responsive to race conditions. “It’s key to telling the story of the race,” the team says. “It’s discreet at times to show the race action in full, then filled with data when things hot up.” This data includes facts about battery level monitors, driver IDs and more, all infused with the brand identity and its chevron graphic device.
The heads-up-display, showing the race from the drivers’ point of view, aims to be immersive by exposing “human and tech data… highlighting the stresses and strains of the drivers’ experience”. This is bolstered by a suite of sounds by studio String & Tins, to enhance the graphics. Similarly the title sequence is designed to build the excitement of the fast-paced, action-packed sport from preparation to finish line.