Episode 18

“How To Design A Race Suit”

When it comes to anything, branding is important. Making sure you’re known for your work is key, and so branding at every opportunity is vital.

This week I decided to put my new-found (and still extremely basic) Photoshop skills to the test, by creating a few concept ideas of what my very own #RacingGrind race suit could look like. After all, everyone has to wear an FIA-approved race suit when competing in in organised motorsport, all the way from entry-level MX-5’s right up to Formula 1. And with that in mind, why not have a suit that’s personalised?

I think it would be a brilliant opportunity to be a human advertising board – both for my sponsors and this blog itself. I say this because when I’m at a race meeting, I may not always be directly next to my car. Therefore, if I had a plain, unbranded suit on, people may not associate me with my car, my sponsors, my brand, ultimately defeating the point of having a wonderfully branded car in the first place. Having a branded suit also means that, if I were to step onto a podium, I would be able to celebrate whilst adorning the logos of the people/companies that made it possible for me to be there in the first place.

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With that said, let’s have a look at three potential designs for my first #RacingGrind race suit:

#RacingGrind 2021 Race Suit: Concept 1

Firstly, we have this design based on an OMP template. You will notice a few common ideas that carry through the three concepts – most clearly being the colour palate of black, grey and an orange gradient. The colour choice has been obtained from my logo, and is consistent with all of my other branding.

I also noticed that, when researching existing race suit designs, the area from the waist down is often under-utilised. I can understand why, as you very rarely see the driver’s legs in photos and you can’t see them at all when the driver is in the car, but I think that, for those very reasons, this area is free for a bit more creative freedom.

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As such, you can see a fading from black to orange, and back to black on the legs, whilst the left leg emblazons my name (a common feature on many race suits) and the right leg has an overlaying pattern formed by the chevron element in my logo.

Working our way up the suit, the Living The Racing Grind logo sits on my back, just below the level of my waist, whilst the #RacingGrind occupies the belt-area on the front. Just below this you’ll find my name and preferred racing number, all in the same font as my logo.

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The main chest area of the suit is left blank, as this is an area highly utilised by sponsors, whilst the chest area itself is neatly bordered by the chevrons from my logo. The main back area is another generally lesser-used area from a sponsorship perspective, and so I have employed the space to -once again – plug my own brand by smacking a huge incarnation of the logo’s motif. This is black on the orange gradient background, as I think this provides an interesting contrast to the orange-on-black you see across the rest of the suit. Finally, above the motif you see a Union Flag, to symbolise that I am British.

In terms of the arms, I have left these a plain black, as you often see a multitude of sponsor logos on these areas and too much else would create an extremely cluttered area.

Possible locations for sponsor logos to be embedded onto design 1
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Speaking of sponsors, you will see above I have added a variety of spaces that would be available for sponsor use, and of course if you’re reading this and think you would be interested in potentially sponsoring me during my motorsport exploits, please do not hesitate to get in touch over via RacingGrind@Hotmail.com.

#RacingGrind 2021 Race Suit: Concept 2

Moving on to the second initial design (made this time from a Sparco template), and you will see this is comparatively much less in-your-face. On this occasion I have opted for the grey to be the base layer, and I have chosen to add a subtle chevron pattern across the whole of the suit. In reality the colour difference between the pattern and the base colour would be much less, but I had to slightly increase the contrast for the purpose of computer screens.

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Once again starting from the legs, you will see the Union Flag (this time in full colour) sits down by the right ankle. This is not because I’m trying to hide it, but simply because that was the best place to fit it, honest! The design around the legs is one big tapered transition from a grey upper half to a black lower half, which is intended to form one continuous spiral if I stood with my legs together. A couple of little touches include my logo’s motif on the left knee, and my preferred driver number on the right thigh. This time, I have managed to fit a full website address in, albeit across my rear-end.

The black taper comes to a point around the belt area, where you once again see my name and the #RacingGrind, although I think they look a bit more interesting this time, as they are both angled.

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The front is once again left blank for sponsor use, whilst this time I have opted for the full Living The Racing Grind logo to take pride of place across my shoulder blades. The Sparco template has an added advantage of creating an extra medium-sized sponsor area on the small of my back too, which is an added bonus.

Onto the arms, and this time I have decided to add a touch of orange, with colours neatly transitioned by way of chevrons.

Possible locations for sponsor logos to be embedded onto design 2
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This design is certainly more understated, but with a base of grey, you could argue it is also blander, and could potentially blend into a background (just like that infamous Manchester United kit). I do prefer the design I have created around the legs, and I think the subtle chevron patterning would be a great little up-close detail on a real suit, too. With that said, above is how the design would look with a full set of sponsors.

#RacingGrind 2021 Race Suit: Concept 3

The third and final design I have is an amalgamation of my favoured sections of each of the two previous suits.

I preferred the black base colour, but I also thought the discrete base pattern was a good idea, so you will see a black pattern on a black background. I kept the spiral transition from design two, however I have inverted the colours to keep a contrast with the base. I also decided to move the number over to the other thigh, so I could add a large print of my name up the right leg.

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For the chest and back, I have effectively replicated design number one, as I like the way the chevrons give emphasis to the main sponsors, just like it gives emphasis to the centre of my logo. Finally, I carried over the arm design from concept two, as I personally think having plain black arms wouldn’t really fit with the loud nature of the rest of the design, and the orange serves well to emphasise the larger sponsor logos that would adorn my forearms.

Possible locations for sponsor logos to be embedded onto design 3

There you have it then, three potential race suit designs for my inaugural motorsport campaign in 2021. As I write this, I’m leaning towards design three, however there’s still a long period of time before any of these could become a reality, so a lot could change between now and then…

What do you think? Which would you pick, or what would you change? Let me know with a comment below!

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