For better or worse, Eyenovation Multimedia has become synonymous with some of the largest professional kart racing events in North America. Our long term design relationship with Superkarts! USA has evolved in to us providing contracted art direction for upstart events and races throughout the country. Most recently, we were contacted by the city of Modesto, California who will play host to the 2014 SKUSA ProTour SummerNationals Modesto Grand Prix. Having seen the work we have done for autonomous events like the Lancaster Grand Prix, they tapped us to spearhead the initial art direction for the race.
We approach jobs like this knowing that any event of this scale will rely heavily on a central key “image” to build various assets from. To arrive at a concept that would speak to locals and visitors alike, we took a trip north for a first hand view of the proposed Modesto Grand Prix event location.
The city of Modesto has a rich history in automotive culture, most notably depicted in George Lucas’ classic film American Graffiti. There are also a unique series of landmarks such as their welcoming arch and the Gallo Center (named after the famous Gallo Family Wineries).
Modesto Grand Prix Event Logo
Our initial explorations centered on featuring Modesto’s iconic elements shown behind wheel to wheel kart racing. The first step of that was coming up with a provisional event logo. Some of our earliest concept sketches focused on including a literal depiction of the arch:
It became clear rather quickly that an event logo with such detail would likely be a bad idea. The design was simplified quite a bit to something basic and clear. We had invested a lot of time in creating the detailed versions, but it’s a prime example of having the courage to reverse direction if the project requires.
The eventual typeface was chosen for its ‘art deco’ look and the shapes were purposely left basic to allow for various color changes and embellishments. One example of a treatment is visible in the a rendered version shown here. The logo’s center emulates the vintage lightbulbs found in the actual city arch.
The Poster and Key Art
Once the city had a basic logo to use in the short term, we turned the focus on creating a key art composition the city could use for various materials. The goal was to capture the essence of the city and juxtapose it against the speed and excitement of a modern day shifter kart. Modesto expressed an interest in wanting to use a marquee driver from the Northern California Area. We settled on (arguably) the best at the moment, Gary Carlton.
The painstaking process of layering race imagery in to city photography was a lengthy one. Perspective and scale were crucial for it to look remotely authentic. Furthermore, because the Modesto Grand Prix is a night race, the goal was to transform the daytime imagery into something that looked as if it could have been photographed at dusk.
We assembled a proposed treatment for consideration, outlining the concept for feedback. The concern (understandably) was having ample space for sponsor logos to be applied to the artwork. After the exhaustive back and forth process, we arrived a solid concept that served as the foundation for the ever evolving art you’ll likely see in August.
It remains to be seen how the final iterations will look, but the process was quite exciting. Some of the more refined and finished collateral pieces we developed can be seen here. We’re honored to have had the chance to provide some basic pieces to the city of Modesto and we’ll be eager to see how the event unfolds in the coming months.Read More