New liveries for 2018 – Andwerndesign interview
Since founding Coanda Simsport in 2014, one of the cornerstones behind the team’s creation has been to group the best possible people working together towards achieving the maximum success in simracing. So much more than merely driving around is key to this, and, perhaps most visible of the “background work”, is its image and branding. Of course this means paintwork for the cars, but also includes many other components like a website, social media profiles, clothing and many, many details which create a consistent and uniform appearance, which we are obviously very proud of! We were very lucky to have Andreas Werner help us right from the get go with our designs, covering the visuals very early on. Purple and the three orange stripes have grown to be a recognized scheme in the simracing world over the past few years, but in 2018 we decided to find a new direction with the design, while retaining the same recognisable Coanda colors. We threw our designer into a dark room and interrogated him for some in depth thoughts about the past, present and future!
I started as a little kid in the mid. 90s drawing F1 cars, using pencil or felt-tip pen on paper. My first cars were the Benetton B194 and B195 and later the MP4/12 with it’s beautiful silver “West” Livery, which I redrew over and over again. Today I could probably still paint it with closed eyes. When modern technology made it possible for me to switch from pencil to Photoshop, I started creating my first custom liveries for EA’s F1 2002 so I could finally race my own paints. In 2004 I did my first design for a FSR Team, called Twister Racing. It’s interesting to see, that 13 years later they still use the same logo and color selection I defined back then. After that I actually stopped simracing or livery design for almost 8 years, as I had to focus on other things in life. But the foundation for becoming a designer was created, and after 3 years of studying, with a 6 month internship in an agency in San Francisco, I began freelancing for multiple design agencies in Munich, doing mostly web-design graphics. My favourite project was definitely the official motorsports website for Mini in 2011 when they entered the WRC. In 2013 I finally found motivation again to get active in motorsport designs and made a fantasy Porsche LMP1 livery. This somehow went viral and the following months I got many offers to design liveries in real motorsport. This was the “boost” I needed to finally be able to make my first steps into this business. Sorry for that long answer; maybe you should learn how to be more specific in your questions!
When you create designs, do you have a certain process or guideline you follow, or is it more trial and error?
When starting a new project I mostly have 1-2 basic ideas in mind that I try to follow. But as soon as it gets into the details, it’s basically trial and error. Not sure if that answer was helpful but the fact that you’re using that term, shows you have done your research in “How to interview a designer?”.
In simracing I’d say the Coanda McLaren Honda from 2016-17, as this design received the most positive feedback and its Martin’s double World Championship livery. And he’s the only driver in the team who’s not constantly trying to turn my design into a late-80s-party-wagon by using weird colors for numbers and rims or painted faces on their helmets. In real motorsport I’d take the Hitech GP F3 livery from 2017, as I tried an unusual approach but it gladly worked out at the end – plus the fact that number colors are regulated by the series and rims are only available in black or silver.
Since 2014 we never made major changes to our designs. At some point I got bored by it and tried out a new look. I tried it out on the 488 GTE and it immediately worked out, so the trial-and-error process wasn’t even necessary anymore. Sure I am gonna miss the MP4/30 or Porsche Cup livery, and it will take a while for spectators, commentators or other drivers to get used this new look with way more orange. Fun fact, it was our Dutch members who complained the most about that.
So apparently this “How to interview a Designer?” tutorial advised you to always end with a quote from a famous personality. I’d agree, as top designers like John Barnard, Rory Byrne or Adrian Newey not only built fast, but also good looking cars. Take 2014 as a good example when Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari were the fastest cars and the only ones without p*****s.