The calendar may show that it is the dawn of the fall season, but the first sign of spring has just arrived as Churchill Downs unveils the 2013 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos. The logos, which incorporate some new features, will appear on all Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks advertising and merchandising.
SME, a New York-based marketing firm that has developed the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos since 2009, has taken a less traditional approach to the 2013 designs using bold colors and negative space to create a more contemporary look.
“Both the Derby and Oaks with their rich history truly transcend the sport of horse racing and today represent icons in America’s social and cultural calendar,” said Edward O’Hara, chief creative officer and senior partner of SME. “At SME we strive to protect this cultural heritage while continuing to point each brand towards the future.”
The bright blue and gold colors featured in the Kentucky Derby 139 logo are used to reflect the hot colors anticipated in the fashion trends for spring 2013. The Derby logo features the boldly-colored initials 'KD' with negative space creating a racing Thoroughbred which appears to be emerging from the initials, as if a leader were emerging from the pack.
“We viewed the Kentucky Derby 139 logo as an opportunity to break slightly from tradition as it is the first time that the ‘KD’ initials have been used as a primary graphic element,” O’Hara said. “By doing so, Churchill Downs can further build upon the Derby brand and take ownership of its very merchandisable initials in a new way.”
The Kentucky Oaks logo is a bit more in line with that of previous years, featuring the traditional stargazer lily and hot pink and green colors. Again, negative space is used to give a fresh appeal to the lily image traditionally used in the Oaks logo.
The iconic golden horseshoe holding a red rose for Derby and golden horseshoe housing a pink lily for Oaks are showcased within the new logos.
Merchandise featuring the new logos are currently on sale through the Kentucky Derby Store website and will also be on sale at the Churchill Downs Store on-track which reopens opening day of the Fall Meet on Sunday, October 28 and at the Churchill Downs Store located at Louisville International Airport, the Kentucky Derby Museum Gift Shop and other select retail stores.
Photos: Kentucky Derby