Project 100

Merit Award 2018

When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was about to celebrate the 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, Project 100 was born. Project 100's goal was to engage fans enjoying the track’s multiple events and inform visitors in and around the seats that have been there for over 60 years.

The complete project entailed updated seating and suites, concessions, exterior road mapping and the Section 127 design team’s role included a complete wayfinding study and application and constructing an awe-inspiring new Turn 1 entrance.

In six months, the team designed, produced and installed more than 500 wayfinding elements ahead of the 100th running. Initial efforts focused on research surrounding existing messaging and signage in order to devise thematic approaches to both design and execution. 

They created clean, functional wayfinding and exterior signage throughout the facility by establishing a design family and hierarchy of components. Terminology, language typography and ADA standards paired with 100 years of racing history to form a system that is completely unique to this extraordinary venue.

Materials and colors were meticulously selected to suggest tradition, while also elevating the Speedway history and brand. Black powder-coated, steel perforated blade signs speak to the evolution of materials in race cars. The stark white and black color application suggests the standard in the world of motorsports. Additionally, the choice of yellow as an IMS specific type color pays homage to the Marmon Wasp, the first winning race car to cross the yard of bricks, way back in 1911.

Section 127's design was set, but installation would be a challenging task. When the grandstands were installed in the 1960s, the facility was being built so fast that multiple companies were utilized. Each one was pre-casting concrete columns, so the blade design had to be strategically measured at every column to account for variances.

Another highlight is the addition to and emphasis on the Turn 1 gate entrance. The Section 127 design team worked with city officials and the construction team to install a monumental awning emblazoned with iconic messaging. By using the same powder-coated and perforated steel as the facility blade signs to create four-foot-tall entrance letters reading “Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” they made history with an iconic new entrance for this world-renowned track.

A thorough wayfinding and design standards guide was developed by Section 127 to ensure the next hundred years of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be easy to navigate, setting the standard for venues of this size.

The final result of Project 100 is a completely one-of-a-kind wayfinding system at a scale that flawlessly matches the vast history of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jury Comments: 

"The contextual use of industrial materials blends perfectly with their environment. Beautiful and simple, this provides the perfect amount of information."

"This clear and authentic wayfinding system is a fun way to send us to the races. It solves the practical wayfinding challenges of a public entertainment venue without taking itself too seriously or over applying a theme. Material, typography and form are spot on."

Design Firms: 

Section 127

Client: 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Project Area: 

13,200 sq ft

Open Date: 

January 2017

Project Budget: 

$1,000,000

Photo Credits: 

Sport Graphics (photography), BoMar Industries (photography)

Design Team: 

Angela Hill (principal in charge), Kyle Eaker (creative director), Joel Hudson (designer)

Fabricators: 

BoMar Industries (primary fabricator, exterior signage), Sport Graphics (exterior signage elements/planning)

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