A Winning Race Livery

MOTORSPORTS HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE in our hearts here at C17 Media. From our inception, we have worked closely with different motorsports organizations assisting with their printing and livery needs. So ingrained in our culture, in fact, that we launched Racing Optics Canada to cater exclusively to the motorsports industry.

When it comes down to it, a lot of our favourite projects involve designing and installing race liveries.

There are many components that come together to create an attention-grabbing livery that offers a competitive edge. This ranges from brainstorming designs that match an owner’s creative inspirations all the way to bringing a design to life with a variety of textures, materials and print techniques.

THE PURPOSE

The terms camouflage, intimidation and attraction come to mind when thinking about the survival of a species in nature. A race livery serves a similar function on the race track, offering aesthetic value in the form of differentiation, visibility and intimidation.

A well-designed livery differentiates teams, generates attention and improves brand awareness for drivers, sponsors and businesses. As observed with the plaid Pfaff GT3 R, this can result in the development of a fan base built around the vehicle. An aggressive design may also appear menacing in the rear view of opponents, creating an intimidation factor for the car and team.

In addition to its aesthetic benefits, a livery offers an additional, albeit thin, layer of protection between the body work and road debris — namely in high-contact areas such as the bumpers and wheel wells. While it won’t eliminate wear, it will serve to minimize it. As such, it is often recommended that we apply paint-protection film prior to the application of the vinyl.

Above all, a livery allows one to express themselves and tell a story with their vehicle.

The most recognizable liveries take inspiration from motorsports legends. One of the most well-known examples for Porsche enthusiasts is the “pink pig”

THE INSPIRATION 

Whether it’s motorsports icons, factory race teams or pure imagination, inspiration for a design can come from anywhere.

Although race liveries aren’t exclusive to fully blown racecars, the most recognizable liveries take inspiration from motorsports legends. One of the most well-known examples for Porsche enthusiasts is the “pink pig,” which originally debuted on the late Porsche 917 racecar and has been resurrected on the 911 RSR.

For the true enthusiast, a livery that pays homage to motorsports history is fitting for even a street car like the 718 Boxster.

For those who would like the appearance of a track car on the street, inspiration can come from factory race teams. Take for example, the most recent race livery C17 Media completed on a brand-new GT4. This livery mirrors its race-prepped sibling, the GT4 Clubsport.

For the ultimate creative expression, a livery can be designed from scratch incorporating elements such as team colours, branding, and abstract patterns or shapes accentuating the lines of the car.

PIECING IT TOGETHER

The process of bringing a livery to life can take anywhere from days to weeks depending on the design chosen. Often, if a livery is being designed from scratch, it can take multiple renditions to achieve the desired end result. With a design finalized, it is then rendered onto a model so both the owner and installer can visualize the finished product.

It is not uncommon to see liveries with multiple layers. Layering introduces a hyper-realistic effect that makes the livery pop on track. Typically, a colour-change layer is first applied, followed by various gradients or shapes. For street cars that are not subject to the same abuse and natural wear patterns as racecars, a battered and bruised look can be achieved through simulated, printed design elements such as scuffs, cracks, dents and even dirt.

The final piece of the puzzle involves applying individually cut sponsor decals. Of course, no true race livery is complete without the addition of a race number which often goes on the driver and passenger doors.

Once it all comes together, a winning livery can offer that extra competitive edge to achieve victory! </>

Story and Photos by C17 Media

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