102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Logo: Inspired by the Past, Looking to the Future

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Always moving forward. A common mindset among those who work at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Those behind two of the greatest brands in motorsports have focus on what’s coming down the road, how to be ready for it, and how to make a positive impact on their communities and the international fan base that follows them.

The two powerhouses come together every year for the Month of May, promoting the Indianapolis 500, a tradition in Speedway, Indiana for over a century. For the past few seasons, the IMS Creative Services team and Indianapolis advertising agency Mortenson Safar Kim, have designed and released the logo for the following year’s race, the weekend of the current season’s running of the ‘500’.

On Friday, May 26th, J. Douglas Boles, President of IMS unveiled the logo for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. He discussed how the race is more than just a Sunday in Indianapolis, and its reach goes far beyond the grandstands of the 2.5 oval. The entire neighborhood takes part in the traditions and embraces the new ones started in recent years. IMS and IndyCar officials visit “Porch Parties” on a daily basis to thank families in the community for their support and engagement of the event. The track works with Indianapolis Arts Council, and engages with signage throughout downtown Indianapolis – such as the street signs in driver’s last names and the larger than life images that have graced the windows of the J.W. Marriott for the past two seasons.

Those traditions are reflected in the development of the 102nd Running logo – taking inspiration from the 100th Running and 101st Running logos, to create something new. A blending of two logos that Boles said they found to be very successful.

Boles spoke to the importance and tribute that the logo represents,

“The design of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 logo is a perfect mix of the tradition that everyone holds so dearly about this great race and its exciting future. The color scheme also is a salute to the patriotism and sacrifice that we cherish every Memorial Day Weekend at IMS.”

A portion of the IMS press release is below. It describes every element of the logo, and goes to show that nothing is by chance. Everything from colors to typeface is purposeful and meaningful:

“In an evolution from the logo for the 100th Indianapolis 500, the design for the 102nd “500” includes the iconic IMS “Wing and Wheel” logo and its spirit of speed. The “500” is underlined with a segment of the world-famous 2.5-mile oval, designed to represent the exit of Turn 4 down the main straightaway and into Turn 1.

The typeface represents the athleticism, competition and cutting-edge technology that are hallmarks of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Every part of the logo leans with a 20-degree shear, symbolizing the relentless forward motion of the race’s competitors and the Indianapolis 500’s second century of competition.”

It is also worth noting that last year’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 won Event of the Year from the Sports Business Journal. Boles shared that he traveled to New York for the award presentation, and accepted it in front of the most powerful decision-makers in sports. No other racing event in history, has ever been elevated to such a level.

He spoke of this year’s race, all but gushing that the pre-race on Sunday will be the best pre-race in the history of the Indianapolis 500. He thinks spectators will absolutely love what they have planned – from the performers, to the flag delivery, to the flyover. They are taking the momentum from the 100th 500 and running with it at full speed.

The Indianapolis 500 by far, the best racing event on the planet… and they are determined to keep it that way.

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