Since the track opened in 1909, the now-famous wheel & wing logo has graced the official program, tickets, and other paraphernalia for the Indianapolis 500. In 1981 the Speedway began marketing the race in official capacity with a dedicated unique annual logo. This logo was printed on the ticket, the program cover, the official poster, on signage around the facility, on official USAC inspection decals, on television and print media, on credentials, pace car graphics, merchandise, apparel, patches, hats, and numerous other paraphernalia. We continue our look at these works of art, picking up with the decade of the 2010s.
It should be noted that by the 2000s, the unveiling of the annual logo was no longer done in the previous year’s official program. In some years the logo is released in the days leading up to the previous year’s race, though in some instances, it was not released until sometime in the summer or fall. Since 2019, the Speedway has utilized a “consistent branding system”, which consists of a common basic layout, fonts, and appearance. However, each subsequent year has seen uniqueness, particularly with respect to the outlining shape, as well as the background color.
|History of Indianapolis 500 Logos|
The original logo for the 2020 Indianapolis 500 was released in June 2019 (LINK). It was the second year of the consistent branding system that was implemented beginning in 2019 for the race logos. The same bold fonts were used for the wording, however, enough subtle changes were made such that the 2020 logo is noticeably unique from the logo of 2019.
The 2020 logo replaced the background row of bricks with a row of checkers, the shape of the shield changed, and the shield color was changed to maroon. The date and the wheel & wing emblem were situated in the same spot, while the “Presented By Gainbridge” remained mostly the same. The logo was said to capture four essential elements: “tradition, speed, excitement, and innovation.”
On March 26, 2020, the race was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new date was announced, moving the race to August 23. Numerous other changes wre made to the IndyCar schedule and the schedule at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For a time, the logo was presented without a date – the “May 24, 2020” date simply having been erased. Later, by around July, logos were beginning to be seen with the new date.
The logo for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 was released in October 2020, a few weeks after the IndyCar Harvest GP weekend (LINK). It was the third year of the consistent branding system that was implemented beginning in 2019 for the race logos. The same bold fonts were used for the wording, however, enough design changes were made such that the 2021 logo is unique from the logos of 2019 and 2020.
The 2021 logo replaced the background with a depiction of the Pagoda. The shape of the shield changed to a rounded-off rectangle, resembling the shape of the track. The color was changed to dark blue, after being a shade of red previously. The date and the wheel & wing emblem were situated in the same spot, while the “Presented By Gainbridge” remained mostly the same. The logo was said to capture four essential elements: “tradition, speed, excitement, and innovation.”
On Thursday May 20, 2021, the IndyCar Series practice day was declared Folds of Honor Practice Day Presented by Red Gold Tomatoes. A special logo was created for the occasion. Time trials was sponsored by Crown Royal. A special logo for qualifying was also used, basically the same logo (without dates) that was used in 2019 and 2020. Both appear to follow the same general “consistent branding” theme employed for the decade.
The logo for the 106th Indianapolis 500 was released on May 28, 2021, a couple days before the 2021 race. Maintaining the “consistent branding system” employed since 2019, the logo for the 2022 race utilizes the same fonts and same layouts. The color is close to that of 2020, but the shape is unique. The shield is adorned with a gold wreath wrapping around either side. This represents the traditional winner’s wreath presented in Victory Lane since 1960.
The logo for the 107th Indianapolis 500 was released on May 25, 2022, a few days before the 2022 race, coinciding with a title sponsorship contract extension announcement with Gainbridge. Maintaining the “consistent branding system” employed since 2019, the logo for the 2023 race utilizes the same fonts and same general layout. The color is close to that of 2021, but the shape is unique once again. This time, the logo’s elements are contained within a rounded-off rectangle, intended to represent the basic layout of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
The logo for the 108th Indianapolis 500 was released on May 29, 2023, the day after the 2023 race. Maintaining the “consistent branding system” employed since 2019, the logo for the 2024 race utilizes the same fonts and same general layout. The color is close to that of 2020 and 2022, described as a ‘brick’ color. The background shape of the logo is intended to represent “an artistic representation of the iconic Victory Podium” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Once minor change has the “Gainbridge” (presenting sponsor) inside the background shape for the first time, instead of outside and/or below the shape.
|History of Indianapolis 500 Logos|