The 2015 Indianapolis 500 Logo Finally Appears

The month of May is full of traditions. Some of them are obvious; like the release of the balloons, the bricks and drinking milk. Others may be a little more personal; sort of like wearing the same shirt every Race Day or having a rib eye sandwich from a stand under the north end of the Tower Terrace at 7:00 am. By the way, both of those are mine.

For years, I’ve had another tradition in May that has gone away the last few years. Every time I went to IMS for Qualifying weekend, I would buy the new Indianapolis 500 Official Program. Tucked near the front of the program was the order form for tickets to the next year’s race. It was there that I caught my first glimpse of the logo for the following year’s race.

I guess I’m a little odd that I pay attention to things like that. I would say it’s because I’m married to a graphic design artist, but I was following the logos every year, long before I met Susan. I know some lifelong fans of the “500” that know practically everything there is to know about each race, but they are not even aware that each Indianapolis 500 since the early eighties as had its own unique and distinct logo. Once I bring it to their attention, they really don’t seem to care.

Anyway…another unique tradition since the days of the internet, has been to go to on the day following the race to see that the logo for next year has already replaced the logo we had been seeing all year. I just always thought it was a nice digital touch. For the last couple of years, that hasn’t happened. The 2014 logo showed up on the web page a few week’s after last year’s race. Next year’s logo finally showed up this week, with the unveiling of the totally redesigned IMS website.

I saw the following version of the new logo on Twitter sometime in early July. It was being passed around and I had the feeling it was somewhat unofficial – meaning, it may have been bogus.


I figured that it’s not official until I see a release from IMS or I see it on the Indianapolis 500 website. Well, this week is when I saw something that was practically identical to what I saw leaked on Twitter in July. In fact, what is actually on the website looks more like the leaked version than this saved copy. In all actuality, I may have liked the colors in the leaked version a little better.


For the record – I like the new logo. Although I follow the credo that change is bad, I understand that web designers always feel the need to update the look and feel of a website. But was it really necessary to wait until the new website was unveiled in October, before revealing what we usually see in the program in mid-May?

A lot has changed in the Indianapolis 500 Official Program in the last few years. I’m not normally a fan of Tony George, but once he was ousted – the program started getting a cheap feel to it. What was once a booklet crammed full of historic and present-day photographs along with many articles about the rich history of the race; since 2010, had been reduced to a magazine filled with mostly ads. The exception to that was the Centennial Program, which quickly became a collector’s item. But from 2012 forward, the Official Program has risen dramatically in price, while dropping in quality.

Nowadays, there is no order form for the next year’s race. I suppose they figure everyone now orders tickets online and they’ve done away with the antiquated mail-order version. But that seems to be even more of a reason to get the new logo up on the website immediately following the race. Seeing next year’s logo on the website sort of took out the sting that the month of May was over for another eleven-plus months.

Since cost containment is the new order at 16th & Georgetown, I’m wondering how much longer they will continue to design a new logo each year. The NFL did away with Super Bowl logos a few years ago. Now they just change the roman numerals at the base of the Lombardi Trophy each year. Perhaps the bean-counters at IMS will decide that a standardized logo each year would be much more cost-effective.

The next thing you know, some financial analyst will tell them to do away with the special designed tickets for each year that comes in the light blue envelope at the first hint of spring. He’ll explain how much better e-tickets will be for the Indianapolis 500. That will be a sad day, indeed.

George Phillips


10 Responses to “The 2015 Indianapolis 500 Logo Finally Appears”

  1. Mike Silver Says:

    The last few logos seem eerily similar. I hope something is special is planned for the 100th race in 2016. I personally would be fine if they went back to the flags that graced the program covers in the 60’s

  2. David Rinehart Says:

    I also track the logos year to year and I agree the colors in the leaked version were better than the final. I hope the 100th is really special.

    • billytheskink Says:

      A (often stylized) version of the Wing & Wheel has been present in every Indianapolis 500 logo since 1984, though I would entertain arguments against 1995 and 2012.

  3. So I am ready for another race. It has been over a month.

  4. billytheskink Says:

    The annual Oilpressure Indianapolis 500 logo post, I look forward to it every year.

    I’m serious, I really do like that we discuss this every year. I have a fairly keen interest in logos in general and I enjoy and appreciate that the Speedway designs a new one for the 500 every year. I would expect that to continue, as long as the unique 500 logos help sell merchandise (and at this time, it seems that they do).

    The 2015 race logo is neither the worst (2003, 2012) nor the best (2000, Centennial Era) among the various logos that have headlined the 500 over the years, but I think it is a fairly good one. I agree that the color scheme on the leaked logo is a little better than that on the final logo.

  5. I like how the 99 is incorporated into the zeros in the 500. Clever.

  6. It will look good on a NIKE Dri-Fit!

  7. I prefer grey over blue. It’s more modern an less NFL/NBA/MLB/IRL-ish

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