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Rarely does my love for racing sailing and graphic design meet

14th Apr 2011

By Ian Collis-Smith

rarely does my love for racing sailing and graphic design meet

I’ve been a fan of offshore yacht racing for about 20 years, and over that time only the whitbread, now called the volvo race has had fully liveried boats with headline sponsors. now many races and racing circuits are sponsored.

This is the latest generation volvo boat launched this week, the New Zealand team, sponsored by Camper. I was reading about the livery, a massive marketing canvas for Camper that will be seen by thousands of people and millions via the media, as the boat races round the world. I found this about Farrow… I did not realise other designers hankered after big race boats!…


Today was also the first opportunity to see the yacht’s full graphic design from leading British studio Farrow. The graphic design of a 70ft ocean going yacht is a massive departure for a studio best known for contemporary music packaging. Mark Farrow says: “This is an amazing project and one of those that, as a team of graphic designers, you dream of being involved in. To be given a canvas of a hundred foot tall masts and a seventy-foot carbon- fibre boat is very, very special! In Camper we have found a creative kindred spirit who has been totally receptive to our ideas and who has pushed us creatively more than most clients, which is refreshing to say the least.”

Part of the inspiration for the design is taken from “‘dazzle painting”, a paint scheme extensively used on battle ships during World War One. Drawing inspiration from abstract artists, a dazzle ships’ paint work was composed of a complex pattern of geometric shapes, interrupting and intersecting each other.

“Everything that you need is within the Camper logo. When you start working with it you instantly start to get a feel of sails… so we started developing patterns for each individual sail using only the Camper bridge.

“With each sail combination, a different pattern emerges. Hopefully as the boat is sailing around the world you’ll see all these different versions. It will be forever changing and shifting. It is a complicated process to arrive at something that works. I really cannot wait to see it on the water,” said Farrow.

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