OK, maybe we should not express preferences when it comes to sport – but we are thrilled that Lewis Hamilton has just won the Formula One World championship – for the third time. He’s such an exciting driver to watch – behind the sweet demeanour is a hard core racer.

Our fascination with F1 started many years ago when we were hired to design all the premiums and promotional merchandise for the ( then ) British American Racing team which then became Honda and then became Mercedes!

We had a crash course in all things F1 – from the perspective of the sponsors to the way that different logo’s and colours were viewed in different countries like China versus the US, and our task was to interpret the often conflicting branding guidelines and match these with the values and message the racing team wanted to communicate. Then we had to come up with merchandise ideas that we could style and brand to make everybody happy! No mean task – and it all had to be done with offices and dominant personalities in three time zones. This was all very exciting and we produced some of our very best design concepts and presentations – that created substantial business for our clients – who said they saw us as an excellent marketing tool.

From a design perspective it was a great opportunity to work in high tech materials and one where being free to come up with exciting merchandise ideas was as important as the styling of individual items. Nothing much has changed now really – we are always as fascinated by the structure of merchandise offered as well as the product styling.

So when we watch F1 now – it’s just for pleasure, but we remember the challenges of the F1 world and are pleased to have been given an insight into the design challenges and business’s behind it.