Episode 7

“Keeping A Lid On Things”

Every racer has a sense of individuality, both in driving and in presence. How, though, will I portray mine?

This week, with the lack of #RaceWatch to devote my time and (albeit limited) creative resources to, I thought I’d go all out for this episode instead. So, I got thinking. If I was to ask what the easiest method to identify a driver during a race was, there would be two answers.

Naturally, the first response would be the number on the car. Every car has a unique number, with their driver(s) associated with it. However, this could vary from season to season, or championship to championship, meaning just a number is not truly individual.

Moving on to the second answer then: Their helmet. The vast majority of drivers have their own personal colours adorning their skull, and it is a subject of pride for almost all. Speak to any driver about their choice of design and there’ll be a scintillating story about every colour, shape, image that comprises their personal livery. No two helmet designs are the same, and with that in mind I thought I’d have a crack at it.

My first helmet design concept

 ‘Considering that you just spoke at length about stories surrounding cranium colours, what, then, is the story behind this arrangement?’

I’m glad you asked! I should, however, deposit a disclaimer before we proceed. As you can see, I’m no graphic designer, and this is most certainly a work in progress. Whilst I am extremely pleased with the outcome of my weekend’s work, there are a couple of aspects that could change before a final product is ever created. There is also the consideration of which specific helmet would receive the honour of displaying such artwork, but that is another episode in itself.

Another point of note is that, when researching helmet liveries in preparation for this task, I noticed a few common traits within the majority of designs. For example, most paint jobs are bold yet fairly simple at their core. As a result, I have endeavoured to carry this trait onto my own design, by using strong blocks of colour that are still distinctive and distinguishable at a distance, rather than just at a couple of feet.

Anyway, the ideology behind my crown-cover’s pattern is as follows, starting with the obvious. The colour scheme for this whole #RacingGrind brand is black, grey and orange, therefore it was a pretty simple choice for my lid’s dominant colours to match. That is why large portions of the helmet are black and grey, with mostly orange accents providing boundaries. After all, what’s the point in even having a brand if you aren’t publicising it to within an inch of its life?

The Racing Man dominates the plan view of the helmet

Continuing this theme, I felt it was vital to incorporate aspects of the #RacingGrind logo into the headpiece. As such, the racing-man has pride of place on top, and a chevron, as featured at the base of the logo, delivers a bold shape across the chin and up onto the cheek area. Personally, I especially like the outcome of the chevron design as I feel it provides a sense of purpose and speed to the overall image.

Behold: a name that will almost certainly not go down in racing’s history books

Other advantages of the chevron swooping back over the cheeks are that, firstly, it perfectly advised of the steepness in which to have the point at the rear of the helmet, and secondly it produced the ideal guideline for my name to be placed. When it came to the name, I immediately knew that I wanted to emulate the font used for my logo. I also felt that, due to having two short names, the most aesthetically pleasing layout was by utilising my full title. Naturally, having a name on the helmet will help spectators identify me on track whilst simultaneously reminding them of who I am each time they see an image of me, which in terms of marketing can only be a good thing.

The chevron shape also found its way from the logo onto the lid

Moving up to the visor strip, and this is where the first potential amendment may occur. Personally, I am a big fan of having my hashtag pride of place in the centre of the frontal area, however visor strips are also prime spots for sponsor stickers to be placed, and in that situation, sponsors are always going to take precedence. For now, though, I have no sponsors, and that means it’s the perfect spot for some self-promotion!

Speaking of sponsors, I have decided to go for the classic white halo around the forehead area. The neutral white gives a perfect base for sponsor logos to be placed without clashing with the primary style, and the wrap-around nature means that sponsor logos will be visible no matter what angle the helmet is being viewed from.

The orientation of helmet that, hopefully, all of my competitors get used to

Finally, we move to the rear of the helmet. In all honesty this is my least favourite portion of the livery, meaning it’s most likely to get a design change. What I want this area to symbolise is me as a human, something personal. This is the reasoning behind the neon green, as it is a colour I love and one that is likely to remain constant in spite of potential changes, however I’m not sure the triangular motif screams me. I would quite like to have my initials in this potential motif, along with my personal favourite number 99 (which, in an ideal world, would be my race number), I’m just not convinced by the layout.

Well, there you have it. My initial #RacingGrind helmet design. Whilst this took an absolute age to create, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Given the feeling of achievement gained from it, there may be more concepts on their way, but don’t hold out for them! What do you think though? Which bits do you like and which bits would you change? Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll try my hardest to reply to them!

***

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, please give it a like to let me know I’ve done a good job. It’ll certainly motivate me to keep writing if I know people are interested! If you really liked it, maybe you could consider giving me a follow too, by sticking your email in the box below! Finally, if you’ve got any tips for me about racing, writing or anything else in life for that matter, then post a comment below to let me know your thoughts!

Finally, the inevitable social media plugs. Find me and follow me on Instagram and Twitter (click the icons below)! You don’t have to but it would be nice.

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