Not that kind of martini…Meg and I stopped that almost 5 years ago! No, this post isn’t about my decades of late night debauchery at Tini Bigs, I’m talking about one of the most iconic race car liveries of all time. In full transparency, this particular livery was sponsored by Martini & Rossi, but I’m willing to look past my own hypocrisy for the sake of automative art. I’m willing to look past my hypocrisy for a lot less than that!
A racing livery is the unique visual design that adorns most race cars. Race teams and sponsors work together to create something eye catching that will hopefully keep the fans visually stimulated, as if 200+mph cars aren’t enough, and also sell some product. The race car equivalent of a pop-up ad but less annoying. Usually. Sometimes a livery will transcend its purpose of convincing you to drink a certain drink, or smoke a certain brand of cigarette, and become a permanent piece of racing history. In my opinion, the Martini livery is at the top of that list. The classic white, blue and red striping has appeared on just about all brands of cars across most race series. Instantly identifiable, timeless and beautiful. Here’s a totally random link that I googled for you with some guy’s opinion on the 25 greatest liveries in case my babbling isn’t enough.
I have always wanted to put a custom livery on my cars, but until recently, I didn’t feel I had the right car in the right color to pull it off. Perhaps I was also just a big coward afraid of what people would think. Age and a pandemic knocked that out of me…mostly. From the moment I ordered my 2021 718 Porsche Spyder in white, I knew it was destined for a Martini Livery.
To start the process, I searched millions of Martini livery photos and I found a great graphic designer, MF Design in the UK that had done some mock-ups of a Spyder with the Martini design. I worked with him to iterate a few examples based on the build for my car.
I worked with another graphic designer, Carl Fassberg, to have an awesome image made of my Spyder with a Martini background which is now framed and hanging in front of me as I type this. Carl had previously done an incredible job with my last car and I had to have another one of his designs to hang next to it. It’s cheaper to collect these than it is to keep the cars!
I spent countless hours searching for Martini designs on Instagram and Google, here are a few that were inspirational in my thought process. Apologies for not knowing the original photographers here (the first one is my own photo so no apology needed there):
I started a search for a local car wrap expert, we are lucky to have a few fantastic shops in the area. Everyone I talked to kept pointing me to Emwraps for the incredible attention to detail, the ability to custom design the solution, the printer capable of handling the job and the skills to install it perfectly. After our first meeting, I knew I was in good hands. When I told them I wanted Martini inspired, but to let their creative energy run free, their eyes lit up as well. We spent months in the design process. Going back and forth with photos, instagram chats, links to other cars, design iterations, etc. I’m not super creative and I have a hard time visualizing things without seeing them, so I made a terrible customer. At one point I suggested they fire me as a client, but they just kept coming up with better and better ideas. Here are a few images from the iterative design process:
They were all good…but neither of us were totally happy with them. The design had to honor the racing heritage but also fit the lines of this very modern car. We wanted it to look organic and give the impression that it was flowing around the car like air or water. None of the designs had quite nailed it. Then Emwraps sent me this:
At first I thought it was too bold. That side profile…there is nothing subtle about it. I sent it to some friends and it was Gary, who has a beautiful Porsche with the Hippie livery, that encouraged me to go big or go home. This design checked all the boxes. Bold, fun, modern, organic and still instantly recognizable as a Martini design. I dropped off my car and then started to totally panic! I spared Emwraps most of my panicking and just let them take this design from prototype to finished product…I could always take it off if I chickened out.
All of that fear totally disappeared when I saw it for the first time…I’m in love! Sure, it is bold and not for everyone…but I think it makes the car. Perfect and better than I ever could have imagined!