So November is drawing to a close, and with it, December is almost upon us. This also means that the end of the year is nigh! Christmas! Days off! 40ºC days! Hang on, wait a sec.
I have had a very productive couple of months since my last entry to this here blog, namely on the Sunbury International Circuit front. I have completed my latest update to the circuit, as well as started, developed, and finished the logo and branding for the circuit itself. I am super happy about how it turned out; a lot of work has gone into it, many tough decisions made, and many hours spent thinking “Does it look better like this, or like this? Maybe…..this one. Hmm, maybe that one was better”. Ugh.
The release of the above represent two major milestones in the massive project: one is that the circuit layout has been finalised and I am now happy with the way the circuit looks, and two is that the logo and branding has been completed. This means I can get onto other exciting stuff, but more on that a little later.
I feel so inspired to create now. It is still an absolute joy to delve right into a project and just design away and create what once never existed. You spend so much time on a project sometimes that you become immersed in it and it takes over. You start second guessing everything and start to become a bit of a perfectionist, which is not fantastic as you soon realise that you can’t win everyone over. I touch on this a little later. In my opinion, if a design was well like by everyone, then it is basically a featureless white sheet of paper. If you don’t create opinions, you haven’t created anything at all.
Here’s an update on what’s been going on.
SUNBURY INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT LOGO AND BRANDING DESIGN
In my previous entry, I alluded to my project of designing a logo and branding for the Sunbury International Circuit. Starting at the start of September, I started off on my design journey to design a logo and identity for the circuit which I had spent many hours on already.
Remember, before I go on, that the circuit design project was always developed with the idea in mind that the circuit was a real circuit. The circuit I was designing was not to be built, but the project had to develop as if it was to be built. I therefore needed to take real world issues into account when designing the circuit, including the logo design. As such, I didn’t want to go all fantastic and design something visually impressive but non-nonsensical and abstract just ‘because’, I needed to design something set in reality, something that could be used effectively today, tomorrow and into the future.
I set about doing my research first up, and in my research I found that many circuit identities contained the circuit layout as part of the logo. Take for example the following:
All of the above have their respective circuit layouts displayed prominently in their logos. Upon review, to me this made great sense’ the circuit layout is often an aesthetic object itself, whcih when well integrated can enhance the aesthetics of a design. The circuit is also the main product and the main selling point. Many basketball-themed logos will have basketball ideas in them; basketballs, rings, courtlines, etc. By having the circuit in the logo, you are continuously promoting your product. Fantastic! That is not to say there are no good logos that do not contain the circuit layout in their logos, but I felt that this was too good an idea to pass up.
I got to developing some conceptual designs after this using the research I had done and came up with a fair few ideas.
One of my design directions was an obvious direction of using racing motifs such as chequered flags and speed lines. From the conceptual design, I picked a hand full and explored where the designs could go.
At this stage I had about 7-8 separate design directions I could go on, but it was all about which I felt was the right one. From the detailed design, I chose the designs I felt showed the most promise in what I wanted the logo to portray, and took to the computer to start refining the ideas even more. I did up many designs, swapped out colours, changed up shapes, introduced new styles…for a month and a half. To get to digital detail design took me 1 month. To decide on a logo from there took me 150% longer!
In the end, I was stuck with a couple of solid ideas.
This was tough. I went to my friends and fans, I went to strangers,, and all had good and critical things to say about all 3 ideas. I developed the ideas more, slowly but surely narrowing it down to just two.
I agonised over these two options for a couple of weeks, mulling over the benefits of both, realising they were both strong, bold, modern and both evoked a sense of energy and action I really like. In the end, I had to chose:
The logo design I chose was a bold, modern and perhaps a little bit abstract exercise which I felt best exemplified the traits I wanted the circuit and the identity to give off. The circuit is new, exciting, daring, challenging, inspiring, interesting, bold, full of action and also welcoming and non-alienating. The logo chosen features a segmented line silhouette of the circuit layout, thus fulfilling the criteria to have the circuit as part of the logo, and is complimented with various streaks of colour in and around the circuit. The colours are bold but not harsh, and compliment each other very well. The 19º angled that the lines sit on gives a sense of movement and action from the stationary image. The typeface used (Play, with post-use emboldening and italicising) is a strong typeface that has a sense of energy and authority to it. Tome, the typeface inspires confidence in the brand and the product.
It was hard to chose between the logo chosen and the logo above as I felt both ideas brought exactly what I wanted. Both ideas were modern, bold and full of beans. However, what won the selected logo out was the neat way of incorporating the circuit layout into the design. If anything, fitting the circuit layout in the other logo design was proving to be a challenging exercise as in places it just looked out of place.
With the logo came with it some cool branding design works, including business cards and booklets:
Check out the full project here at https://www.behance.net/gallery/21623337/Sunbury-International-Circuit-Logo-and-Branding-Design!
With this, I can now actively promote the circuit design project when I release updates. Furthermore, this gives the project a certain sense of maturity and realism, knowing that the circuit isn’t just a 3D representation of my ideas, but is now somewhat of an actual thing, a design with an identity. Having done this, this now frees up some of my time to tackle some other projects!
SUNBURY INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT – CIRCUIT DESIGN
The circuit design has ramped up a bit in the following months, with the layout being revised for the last time. On review, I felt their were too many slow hairpins, so I replaced one with a tricky tightening corner. I have also smoothed out the elevation, added in a north and south circuit, added in catch fencing, done up all run off areas and added make shift buildings such as grandstands around the circuit. How bout we have a look at the new update?
The keen eye will see overpasses with the Sunbury International Circuit logo on them – I made those! Those were made using SketchUp.
As I mentioned before, the layout has had a slight change up. The new layout looks like this.
The changes occurred at Turns 15 and 16. Turn 15 was opened up a bit, while T16 has been converted from a simple hairpin to a challenging tightening right hand corner. The run up to Turn 16 has now become more complex, going from a simple straight section to almost a large curve of its own. The reason for this change was to remove another tight hairpin corner, as the circuit already had a few of them. The straight leading into a Turn 16 hairpin was born from the idea that Turn 16 would provide an overtaking opportunity, with the straight allowing slipstreaming. As the design evolved, the straight became smaller and smaller, making Turn 16 an ineffective overtaking spot.
The above layout also shows the smaller circuits that I have added. The total number of different configurations are shown below.
The north circuit encompasses the more undulating part of the course. Starting at the alternate S/F position, with dedicated pit lane and buildings. The circuit approaches the full circuit Turn 14, runs around Turn 15 before turning left on dedicated road for the north circuit. The north circuit road joins up to the main circuit just after Turn 5, creating a decent straight and a chance of overtaking into Turn 6. The south circuit is a bit longer and is a bit more of a speed circuit, using the S/F straight, part of the back straight (before turning slightly left onto dedicated road), and the curved straight into Turn 17. The two circuits are quite divided in their characteristics, with the North circuit featuring more technical corners, while the South circuit utilises more of the straights.
In this updates of the circuit, I took the time to fully map out the typography of the area by hand. This was generated by using 50m resolution data from GoogleEarth, and linking up similar elevation value to form a contour plot. I shaded it to show a faux-3D aerial view and got something like this:
The above maps sort of show that in general, the land slopes downward from left to right. This is due to a river to the East of this location. The area contains many gorges cut from rivers and creeks, flowing over what is relatively flat land. The exception to the slope, which can be seen more clearly in the top image, is the presence of a hill just off centre. The hill climbs gradually going East, before dropping down quite a bit. The contours are at 1 metre intervals.
The circuit has come a long way, but there is still some ways to go. As the circuit layout has been finalised, my attention will now turn to designing the buildings, namely the train station, the main grandstand, the pit buildings, normal grandstands and other smaller objects. Away from the model, I will also work on the layout of the circuit in the area I have chosen for the circuit, including fan and team personnel access.
FERRARI FORMULA 1 LIVERY
I found some time to work on this a little more in between the above two projects, concentrating on developing the side profile to use in my development design. After generating the line work, I ended up inputting some colour, and because I couldn’t help myself, I ended up rendering the car as well.
In fact, I liked the rendering so much, I had to complete the Ferrari F14T design on it!
I think it looks awesome.
This is all part of a project to design a retro livery for the Ferrari Formula 1 team. Given that the Sunbury International Circuit logo design is completed, this is a project that might now get some more love.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NEXT?
There are a couple of things happening, actually. Apart from the Sunbury International Circuit design work and the Ferrari Formula 1 Retro Livery project, I am working with a friend of mine to develop the initial parts of a game that I will be doing some pixel artwork for. This will be fantastic as I have wanted to do some pixel work for a while now. I am also thinking that my next graphic design project will be the branding and identity for am Airline, possibly called Falcon Air.
That’s it from me this time. If I don’t hear from you, reader, have a lovely Christmas and best wishes for 2015! By the way, I would absolutely love to hear from, get feedback, or even talk about projects! Give me a buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have an online portfolio currently based in Behance. Check it out at https://www.behance.net/stylepixelstudios
Thanks for reading!