During one month me and my co-creator Gustav Funck got to envision a visual identity for our fictional project Absolut Racing. The idea took shape from the questionable business of sponsorship deals within Formula 1.
In the early stages of motorsport, companies like Camel, Lucky Strike and Marlboro were all either major or part sponsors of racing teams. This involved widespread direct branding, with cigarette logos on cars, team uniforms and trackside advertising, largely to gain brand exposure via TV coverage.
As time went by, the tobacco companies influence on the sport grew larger.
Big tobacco was fueling the racing ambitions of the likes of McLaren, Lotus, Aston Martin and Ferrari. And F1 was very much benefiting from it. The huge amount of money that came with the tobacco companies grabbing hold of F1 transformed the sport. The cars got faster, the crews got larger and the tracks got better.
With the World Health Organization's : Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships was banned. Globally.
This ban should have marked the end of the tobacco influenced motorsport era.
However, the big tobacco companies were no longer just sponsoring the F1 teams.
They owned the F1 teams. To this day big tobacco companies are still using F1 as a platform. Big tobacco is continuously spreading the message of tobacco use across the globe. Only now within the grey areas.
Our goal with this project was to create a brand that is the opposite of a match made in heaven. To envision a brand that feel so morally out of line, yet so close to home for how we’ve come to know Formula 1.