Archive for the ‘ Helmet Designs ’ Category

This coming week will mark the IZOD IndyCar Series’ final round of the season at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. For the occasion the boys at ArtRotondo.com decided to break the walls down and unleash one of their finest works yet — Graham Rahal’s Sin City helmet.

This helmet was produced to pay tribute to the Indycar’s arrival to the city and to the city’s great attributes. Hoping that this helmet will be enough of edge that Graham will need to lead the final lap of the race and take the checkered flag to end his 2011 on a high note.

The end of season marks a lot of other end of season helmets for many others, including Vitor Meira’s latest helmets that he will also be sporting in Las Vegas along with Sebastian Saavedra’s upgraded more colorful Colombian influenced helmets.

In the DTM series, Mercedes top driver Gary Paffett unveiled his end of season helmets which include a special matte “Bizarro” version of his classic helmet which is already making head waves throughout the racing world.

Finally US racing prodigy Alexander Rossi hopes to finish on top of his World Series by Renault season with his brand new modified helmet style complete with his trademark ghost pattern palm trees to pay tribute to his native of California, so that the entire world see’s what he’s accomplishing and most importantly where he comes from as being the only american with a valid Formula Super License in the world.

The end of season is always a sad time for us as before everything else, we are avid racing fans, but work never stops and which is why you have to stay posted on the Indycar blog throughout the off season for our full updates on all of our upcoming projects and remember to also check in to www.artrotondo.com for day to day updates and on our Twitter and Facebook fan pages.

July turned out to be another busy month for the JLF Designs team. EJ Viso was making a flying visit to the UK so we arranged to have a helmet painted while he was here so he could take it back with him to the US. The design was another variation of the “Orbital” design EJ has been using which has proved very popular. This one had the concentric circles in the Lotus yellow and green to match his race car, with a matt finish.

EJ Viso helmet

EJ Viso's new helmet design

July is also the month of the British Formula One Grand Prix so we had special designs for our F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta (cousin of IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti). Patriotic flags was the theme for these designs, with Lewis’s design featuring 3D Union Jack flags as well as the flag of Grenada where his family originally came from. Metalflake/sparkle paint was used almost everywhere – even on some of the logos, which made this design really stand out under sunlight and the garage lights.

Paul Di Resta helmet

Lewis Hamilton's new helmet design

Pauls’ design was a combination of the Scottish Saltire and the Union Jack with an outline of the Silverstone circuit on the back. Paul wanted a clean, classic design that would be recognisable from the spectator grandstands while still having a bit of airbrush flair.

Lewis Hamilton helmet

Paul Di Resta's new helmet design

Also pictured is a helmet that we recently painted for a customer who wanted a design based on the BMW Art Car designed by Jeff Koons. Every stripe and colour was hand-painted on to give a design that is pretty different from most race designs on the track! We love getting unusual designs to paint and will be soon painting a helmet based on a psychedelic Cream album cover.

Custom helmet by JLF Designs

Helmet designed by JLF Designs team

The paintshop is as full as ever so we’ll hopefully have more photos to show soon. We’ve just received a helmet from the Indycar series organisers for Dan Wheldon to use in the test schedule for the rest of the year so the next blog should have photos of that helmet once it’s finished.

ADMIN NOTE: With Canadian races looming on the INDYCAR schedule, we thought we’d check in some of our favorite helmet designers, Art Rotondo, and how they spent their time at the recent Formula One race in Montreal (I hope they stayed dry). Check it out.

For the first time ever in Grand-Prix history, there was an artistic partner associated with an event. The event was the 2011 edition of the Canadian GP in Montreal, Quebec Canada. ArtRotondo.com was in charge of creating unique hand drawn portraits of each of the 24 drivers on this year’s grid. Each of these portraits were placed on top of each driver’s garage, a unique and innovative concept we brought to life.

There was also official ArtRotondo.com stands located throughout the circuit Gilles-Villeneuve where fans had the chance to meet Art in person, visualize some of his original works and shop his limited edition print line.  This was a tremendous weekend for the ArtRotondo.com group, along with this event were many media appearances on different TV stations which also propelled this truly fantastic moment in motorsport artwork history.

The following pictures depict a few of these works throughout the weekend.

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Narain Karthikeyan

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Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

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Jenson Button

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You can view more posts from ArtRotondo and the creative work they do for our INDYCAR drivers, HERE.

What do you think of bringing more art into the racing experience?

JLF Designs are celebrating 20 years of helmet paintwork this year and so far our anniversary year is proving to be the busiest one yet with May probably being the busiest month of all. Special one-off designs for Dan Wheldon and EJ Viso for the Indy 500 and a special design for Lewis Hamilton for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix have kept us burning the midnight oil to get everything out on time!

Everyone here at JLF Designs was really happy with the news that long-time JLF driver Dan Wheldon was back racing with a deal for the Indy 500, and as soon as the box of helmets arrived from Bell we set to work on some new designs for Dan. 2 helmets were painted in the team colors for testing and qualifying, and another was painted for the race itself.

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The Indy 500 race helmet has mostly white and orange coloring to match the colors of Dan’s car, with a black and gold flake Indy 500 logo and pinstriping detail. Dan wanted a clean, classic design for the centennial race but with the kind of detailed touches that his helmets have become renowned for. Dan’s Indy helmets always feature a themed cartoon on the back and this year the Lionheart Knight is shown driving a version of the car Ray Harroun drove to win the very first Indy 500 race. Everything on the helmet is hand-painted with around 30 hours taken to produce the paint scheme.

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Also shown here is an exclusive peek of the helmet 2008 F1 champion Lewis Hamilton will be wearing at this weekends’ Monaco F1 race. Every colour on the helmet has a fine metalflake effect laid over it – even the sponsor logos, and again the paintwork was completely hand-airbrushed before the shell was sent back to Arai in Japan for Lewis’s custom-made internals to be fitted before being sent back to the McLaren F1 team in the UK.

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With the Indy and Monaco helmets done and delivered we’ve just about got time to catch our breath and then it’s back to work on new designs. The helmet paintwork order book is full until August and the artwork and prints side of the business (www.artbyjlf.com) has taken off, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed the next 20 years will be just as busy as the last 20!

The month of May is known to be the most hectic month for the IZOD IndyCar stars, but it’s just as crazy for the helmet painters, in particular at the ArtRotondo.com shop, when you paint for many of the Indycar drivers. The month of May is an incredibly hectic month but that all comes to one big reward on that historical race day. This year being the centennial year, it is a tremendous honor for us to be part of this great race, alongside so many of this Series finest drivers. We’re truly living a childhood dream by being involved in this great race and hope that one of our drivers will be the first to cross the finish line on this coming May 29th, 2011.

This year’s Indy 500 will not only mark the 100th anniversary of the great American race, but it will also mark the heroic return of IndyCar star Mike Conway. He will return on board his Andretti Autosport IndyCar to face the track which prematurely took him out of his 2010 season. For this tremendous event we had no choice but to make a special Indy 500 themed helmet for his triumphant return, we put the complete focus on the speedway’s landmark tower and hope it will bring him that extra edge in this grueling 500 mile dash.

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Mike Conway's new helmet

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2011 intro from ArtRotondo

Posted on: April 25, 2011 | Comments(2) | Helmet Designs | By: mrotondo

After a few races into the exhilarating 2011 IndyCar season, the helmets keep on coming out of the ArtRotondo.com shop. For the first time the ArtRotondo.com company is painting the helmets for IndyCar fan favorite Vitor Meira. For the occasion we came up with a few new designs for the Brazilian. We jazzed up his old design by giving it more life and to more suit Vitor’s personality. These are the first of many helmets of Vitor’s to come.

New look for Vitor Meira

New look for Vitor

May 1st 2011 will be the IndyCar’s series stop in Sao Paolo, Brasil for the 4th round of the 2011 season. Sadly this day also marks the celebration of life of undoubtedly the finest  racing driver ever to have lived on this earth, Ayrton Senna. For the occasion both Vitor Meira and the ArtRotondo.com group came up with the idea to mark this grandiose occasion by paying tribute to him. With that in mind, we made Vitor’s usual design but modified with the Brazilian flag stars and most importantly the back of the helmet is a montage of some of Ayrton’s most memorable racing moments.  Each one of these moments was entirely hand painted by Art Rotondo himself. After growing up in an Ayrton Senna influenced household all of our lives, due to our father’s Brasilian origin, it was truly inspiring for us here at ArtRotondo.com to pay tribute to Ayrton but as well to our passed father. We hope the fans in Brasil will enjoy this tribute to a champion and the immense emotions involved with this piece of art the ArtRotondo.com company created and that the IndyCar fans here in North America will do the same and take a minute of remembrance for the greatest racer of all time.

Meira's helmet

Inspired by Senna

IndyCar rookie Sebastian Saavedra will be in his very 1st full time Indycar season and for the occasion we spiced up his 2011 helmets by putting more clean cut emphasis on his native Colombian flag at the back of the helmet to give the overall more mature look to better suit his current Conquest Racing ride.

Sebastian Saavedra

Saavedra with a new look

Keep checking back Indycar.com’s blog for our special Indy 500 themed blog which will capture all of our drivers special Indy 500 themed helmets.

With the Indycar season opener at St-Petersburg right around the corner, ArtRotondo.com is hard at work making sure that our INDYCAR drivers have the finest and most original looking helmets on the grid. Through our previous IndyCar.com blogs we have been documenting our latest works for our Indycar drivers which follows with these newest creations. (Check out past posts here)

We’ll start with Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette who impressed many last season with his end of season surge to the front pack. He returns this year with his classic helmet design but this time on the brand new Schuberth SF1 carbon fiber helmet which is one of the most worldwide renowned and sought after helmet in all of racing. He will be sporting these tremendous lids throughout his 2011 season.

Bertrand Baguette's 2011 helmet design

Bertrand Baguette's 2011 helmet design

Another one of our latest works is for the “comeback kid” himself, Mike Conway. Mike will be making his return this season with none other than Andretti Autosport and will be sure to make his comeback memorable. For the occasion, we tweaked Mike’s design just a tad to give him that extra “out of the box” look than his previous design from last season. To all who thought his helmet couldn’t get any nicer, well I think the pictures speak for themselves. It is simply a true honor to be doing Mike’s helmets and especially this year after all the rehabilitation and courage he showed after his major incident at the Indy 500, a true remarkable story which can only get better.

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver, Mike Conway's helmet

Mike Conway's 2011 helmet

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver, Mike Conway's helmet

Mike Conway's 2011 helmet

Finally we wanted to stay in the Andretti Autosport stable and present to the Indycar fans, the one that many believe to be the next American born open wheel prodigy Sage Karam. This season will be Sage’s first season in the Star Mazda series, after winning every championship in every category he has ever driven, Sage looks to continue his streak in the Star Mazda series in 2011 and to continue his climb in the Indycar ladder system.

Star Mazda Series Driver, Sage Karan's helmet

Star Mazda Series Driver, Sage Karan's helmet

Star Mazda Series Driver, Sage Karan's helmet

Star Mazda Series Driver, Sage Karan's helmet

Our crazy pre-season helmet rush is far from being over, we’re still creating unique designs for our Formula 1 drivers, Nascar drivers, ALMS drivers and, of course, for our IndyCar drivers,  so keep on checking back on the Indycar.com blog for all of our Indycar Series drivers helmets to come!

Not much of an off season at the ArtRotondo.com shop, we’ve been hard at work and have just recently finished the first batch of IZOD IndyCar Series 2011 helmets. First off we have 2010 rookie of the year British racer Alex Lloyd’s newest helmet which has a revised designed from last season to give it the effect of speed. Below are the first helmets that Alex will be sporting in the upcoming 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

2011 Helmet Designs

Alex Llyod's 2011 Helmet Design

Simultaneously at the ArtRotondo.com shipping dock are Graham Rahal’s new 2011 revamped design helmets.  Now being the third car in the Chip Ganassi racing team, we matured the design but continue to keep to the style of trademark ArtRotondo helmet tops. The playing cards version was created to depict Graham’s Ace hand coming into the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season and will hopefully give him the better hand out of the rest of the field.

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal's Ace Helmet Design for 2011

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal's Ace Helmet Design for 2011

The second helmet created for Rahal has commemorative fireworks for the season opener at St. Pete. This was the location where Graham Rahal celebrated becoming the youngest Indycar champion in victory lane in 2008. Now he with this helmet he will represent the start of a new season spectacle in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the start of a new era for Graham Rahal.

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal will wear this fireworks helmet at St. Pete

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal will wear this fireworks helmet at St. Pete

What do you think of these 2011 helmet designs? What design would you like to see on your favorite driver’s helmet? Many more helmets are approaching completion and Indycar blog will have all of these new ArtRotondo works for you to see.

As we get started on 2011, a lot of things have happened over the last 12 months at JLF Designs. The helmet painting industry has been moving at an amazing pace and lots of new styles have emerged and even though I’ve been painting for 20 years, I have enjoyed my work more than ever thanks to some great projects with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Dan Wheldon and E.J. Viso who always brings us designs that are a challenge – and I love a challenge!

Back of E.J. Viso's Helmet

One of Viso's many designs

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Now that the IZOD IndyCar Series has finished we haven’t got any IndyCar driver helmets at the workshop, so I’ve posted some pictures of the painting process on one of Ernesto Viso’s helmets.

The designs come from his cousin Juan Carlos in Milan and this is the information we work from on all of EJs’ helmets. We try to keep to the original concept as closely as possible, but we have the final say on colors, effects, etc. as designs often evolve along the painting process. As a helmet progresses we often think of additional touches and paint techniques that will enhance Juan Carlos’s designs.

"SCARECROWd" Helmet

E.J. Viso's SCARECROWd Helmet

The first step is to prep & primer-coat the helmet surface, so that the paint will key to the shell and stand up to the battering the helmets take during a race. Each section of the design is masked off and the colors are then airbrushed in one at a time.

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