The May Way

I never really know how to introduce these blog posts.

I don’t really want to put you, the reader, through another couple of paragraphs of why I love designing, creating and developing ideas, but then that’s what this blog is all about, right? That’s what design is all about, right? But the same words over and over again don’t really help the cause. We get it Adam, you like design! Woopty-doo! But what are you doing? Why haven’t you released a billion works, finished your website, gone on to bigger and better things?

Truth be told, this gig isn’t easy. I am currently juggling a full time job that my wife and I are living under, while trying to work around my life to fit design stuff in. This usually means getting up at 5am, working on design stuff for an hour and a bit and heading off to work for a full day. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to work on projects, and great ideas fall away before they even had a chance. Sometimes, the design brain just isn’t ticking, and all the anticipation and vigour you had before going to bed vanishes as your mind starts waking up, only to get yourself on your way to work when energy and inspiration hit.

Design is a labour of love. It is a labour of hope that what you do will be noticed, be successful. There are more than 7,000,000,000 different people living in the world, and you can sure bet that there are millions of designers out there.This is my little corner of that world, and despite my lack of time, despite the number of great designers actively working at the moment, despite the shear competition out there, I seem to be kicking some goals, which brings a smile to my face.

I enjoy it when someone notices my work, one of those 7,000,000,000 people, it makes what I do feel special. I still create for myself and it is my greatest inspiration, but it is always nice to know that someone has invested time to look at what you do.

So thank you to all those people out there.

BLOG PERFORMANCE

I thought I would share with everyone an update on the performance of this blog. This little blog is now more than 2 years old, with the first post released on the 23rd of March 2013. This blog was supposed to operate as both a showcase of my work, as well as more frequent posts about design, what inspired me and what I found pretty neat. However, I realised that really wasn’t how I operated, and instead decided to sacrifice blog updating time with working-on-design time.

BlogGraphMay2015

The graph above is a reworking of what I see in my blog stats page (except they use column graphs, which is probably the better way to visualise this data, but nonetheless). Since March 2013, the monthly views (number of page visists) was averaging about 22 a month, with visitor numbers (unique visistors) averaging about 14 a month. Since then, the blog has made great progress! In March, the blog experienced a 994% increase from that average, with 222 views, and a 686% increase in visitors from that average. The difference between views and visitors (which appears to be growing further apart) demonstrates that people are looking at more blog posts for each visit, which means they are staying for longer and looking at more stuff.

The dashed lines for May are projected at this stage based on the amount of views and visitors I have received to date this month. Of course, this will likely fluctuate but hopefully May will be a good month as well!

 THE BODY OF WORK

As it turns out, the last couple of months have been, perhaps unsurprisingly, motorsport orientated. Anyway, here’s what’s new this time around:

FERRARI FORMULA 1 RETRO LIVERY

This is a project that started perhaps 8-10 months ago when I started to do a render of a 2014 Ferrari Formula 1 car and decided to make a project of it.

The goal was to really design a livery, not just tack on colours and of-the-day sponsors and call it a day. I really wanted to integrate a retro livery, one that had been used before and was successful in its own right, into a modern setting such that the livery could be used today.

I did some research and decided to investigate the use of the liveries on the Ferrari 640/641 and the Ferrari 312T,

F640 Top

Ferrari 640/641

F312T Angle

Ferrari 312T

I chose these cars as I felt that throughout the history of Ferrari Formula 1 cars, these two liveries stuck out the most. The elegance of the white bodyline in the 312T, couple with what looks like bare metal upper wing surfaces, and a large white engine intake with a strong italian il Tricolore. The use of black for the front and rear wings in the 640/641 was a trademark look for Ferrari in the late 80s and ealry 90s before Malboro sponsorship came on board. The almost wholly deep red body really enforced the Ferrari image, with the black wings enforcing a strong, confident, menacing look.

I did up some sketches and renders to see what could be done, but the end results are shown below.

Views All F641 Livery

Ferrari 640/641 retro livery design

Views All 312T Livery

Ferrari 314T retro livery design

The issue I found with this exercise was making allowances for the current group of sponsors, particularly Santander. My research showed that Santander branding mean tthat the logo was either white on red, or red on white, but never on any other combination. The two liveries I chose to recreate did not allow this naturally, so I had to improvise. For both designs, the endplates became white with a red Santander; if done correctly, the endplates on the 640/641 would be black and on the 314T, silver. I have also made allowances on the rear wing endplate, where there is a white stripe allowaing for a red Santander logo. I have also tried to accomodate driver numbers as they appeared on the original cars, with the 314T numbers featured on the side flow conditioners, buth the nose cone numbers are reminiscent of their design on their original cars.

In the future, I hope to develop the designs a but more to extend to driver overalls and the like, as I think this would really round out the project nicely!

FORMULA 1 RACE REVIEWS

In my previous blog post, I described a project involving creating 1 page reviews of an entire Formula 1 racing weekend. These reviews would include practice, qualifying and race results, as well as additional information in one full place. The inspiration for this was to have the ability to see all information from a race weekend all in one place, as getting information for a race weekend was often segmented and hard to compare. There are publications out there that do this already, but these publications are generally quite expensive and are filled with long, albeit interesting, columns describing the race weekend that was.

Last time I presented a version detailing the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. To try out the concept even further, I have created race reviews for the 2015 Australian and Chinese Grands Prix:Australia 2015 (prototype)

2015 Australian Grand Prix Race Weekend Review

China 2015 (prototype)

2015 Australian Grand Prix Race Weekend Review

Each race weekend review contains a huge amount of information, including all practice session details (driver number, position, lap time, number of laps), qualifying session details (Q1/Q2/Q3 times, gap to leader), race session details (positions, average speeds, fastest laps) podium place graphics, circuit information (location, layout, historical information), and race lap, history and tyre usage charts.

My plan for this is to develop each race weekend into a two-page spread, filled with as much information as possible. I would like to do have a race-specific graphic on the left hand side together with the circuit information, with as much room as possible on the right sheet dedicated to race weekend information. I am currently creating graphics of the cars for this project (see Pixel Formula 1 Cars below) which I hope to be able to use for the practice, qualifying and race positions, as well as the current podium placing graphic. In the end, I would like to have a set of all race weekend reviews in one pack, hopefully to sell, but at the very least for myself. I think this will be an incredible thing to accomplish and the feedback I have had so far has generally been favourable, so I am motivated and excited to see where this will take me!

PIXEL FORMULA 1 CARS

As alluded to in the Formula 1 Race Review section, the race reviews use original self made Formula 1 car graphics. These are done in a pixel art style, and on this blog is generally one of the most popular clickings. I provided an original shot in my last blog update, featuring the Ferrari, Williams, Sauber and Mercedes cars, but now can show you 2 more pixel F1 cars, Toro Rosso and Lotus. Click on the image to have a close look!

WilliamsFerrariMercedesSauberSTRLotus

For reference, here are the STR and Lotus 2015 cars side on real life:

F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day Three Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

The original plan was to have all 10 Formula 1 cars done up in this style for use in the Race Reviews. However, I am now undecided whether this style is the best way to go, or whether it is easier if I employed a more cleaner look using something like Illustrator. The plan was also to create a top and front view of each car for use for a team review section of the race reviews, which may be easier away fro the pixel art style.

In any case, I reckon they look awesome and I hope to finish them all up in this style nonetheless!

SUNBURY INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT

After a hefty hiatus. I have once again worked on the Sunbury International Circuit!

For those of us who are new, the Sunbury International Circuit is a racing circuit I am designing for the Melbourne, Australia area, as a replacement for the temporary Albert Park circuit. I wanted a design challenge and identified that while the Albert Park circuit is in a super location and is well liked by fans and drivers alike, it is not without its problems (reduced access to park facilities, ungoing set up/dismantling costs, traffic disruptions, damage to the park, etc.). My idea was to find an existing bit of land that was easy to get to by car and public transport and design a purpose built permanent motorsport circuit.

The circuit layout currently looks like this, with elevation profile and elevation shading:

SIC Typography w circuit

The circuit is a 5.32km slow circuit consisting of 19 corners, 9 right and 10 left. The circuit will have a 2015 standard Formula 1 lap time of approximately 1:40.000. Comparatively, the Albert Park circuit is about 5.3km and has a qualifying lap time of approx. 1:26.000. The difference is due to the number of slow-medium corners in the circuit, which provide plenty of overtaking opportunities. A simulation of the layout can be seen below:

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been designing the new and exciting buildings that will come with the circuit, namely the train station, the main grandstand and the pit building.

Train Station 2

Conceptual design of the train station

The train station will be designed to have an island platform servicing the electrified railway line connected to the Melbourne metropolitan train system. The train station will be accessible by a raised walkway that will go over the railway, with platform access via stairs and escalators. For disabled or people with mobility issues, an elevator will also be available.

As for the architectural design itself, I wanted to design a station that allowed for protection against rain and sun, but also allowed a good amount of natural light to come in. As the station is roughly parallel with a North-South line, the platform roof contains a number of openings (to be shielded by perspex or alternate panelling) to allow natural light to come through. Support beams will travelled towards the middle of the platform, allowing for more room for passengers along the platform, and will be coloured in the Sunbury International Circuit collours (see Sunbury International Circuit logo design).

Main Stand 3

Conceptual design of the main grandtstand

The design of the main grandstand follows the same philosophy as the train station – allowing light to come in. Grandstands usually employ a large roof to protect patrons from the weather, but this can create a really dark atmosphere compared to the outside. The grandstand roof in the design I have put forward is a complex panelled wave design that is almost sinusoidal at the front, and has a gentle curve at the rear, creating a complex, eye catching flowing design. To create a delibrate conflict in the flow, the roof will be made up of individual flat panels that will make up the curves, whcih at one end will be raised compared to the pane next to it. This is to allow natural light to come through the roof and into the seating area. To protect patrons fro sunlight, perspex/glass panelling will be used that has been treated to block out UV rays. The angle of the roof spaces will also not allow direct sunlight to come through onto the seats.The final design has not been finalised with a sized drawing, but work is ongoing on this matter.

The pit building has yet to be finalised, but will be fairly standard in terms of design and will feature an upper corporate box section and a race control building.

Once all these buildings have been designed, I plan on developing a much more comprehensive elevation profile for the circuit (see above) as well as determine the overall layout of the racing circuit site. I will also be developing an ultra-realistic top down view of the circuit including showing the layout with buildings and services shown. Exciting!

FORMULA 1 LARGER RENDERINGS

Largely motivated by the works of some who have developed semi-outlandish formula 1 concepts for the future amongst talks of creating more powerful, wider formula 1 cars, I thought one of the projects I would love to do would be to model a Formula 1 car of my own.

Sounds incredible ambitious right? Well it is!

The plan would be to conceive, develop and model a Formula 1 car design. My personal aim would be to develop a wider (~2m) Formula 1 car with aerodynamics in mind – many of the concepts that have come out have half used aerodynamics and half fantastical design. As an aerospace engineer by trade, I feel I can implement some aerodynamic knowledge into the fray and design something that not only looks great, but should perform great as well. One of the issues with Formula 1 these days is the inability for a car to follow another, and this is due to the quality of the air coming off the rear of the car ahead of another. I hope in my design that I can help alleviate this issue through manipulation of the aerodynamic dependencies of the car.

In preparation for this, I have done up some quick and nasty drawings of current cars, widen to about 2 metres and including some aerodynamic changes (including lower rear wing). As these are fairly rough drawings I have not gone into too much detail, but I have shown the original images these are based off, so you can see how the stance of a car changes up the aesthetics!

RedBullLotusQuickRedesign

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain

Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado, Bahrain 2015

Manor REdesign

Manor Marussia, unknown location (original unknown)

Ferrari WIP GP CINA F1/2015

Sebastian Vettel, Malaysia 2015

This is likely something I will get back to at a later date in the 2nd half of the year.

WHAT NOW

So as you can see there is plenty going on and plenty to do! I will primarily be working on the Sunbury International Circuit as I plan to finish that off after being in development for so many months. This will allow for other projects to fill the void which are all exciting and interesting in their own right. I will also look to start developing an Ariline Branding exercise which is a project that has been waiting on the sidelines for far too long! Hopefully I will be able to release a couple of things and maintain a good momentum with this design stuff for the world to see!

I can be reached via email at adam@stylepixelstudios.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/stylepixelstudios, or on Twitter at @Stylepixstudios. Love hearing from you all, so feel free to give me a buzz!

Until next time!

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