Some sad news this week, as reported by FormulaSpy, that the famed livery designer Ian Hutchinson has passed away at the age of just 59, after a battle with cancer.
Hutchinson was most famous for his work with the Jordan team, where he was employed between the team’s inception in 1991, and the first year of their contract with Benson & Hedges in 1996. This means, of course, that he was responsible for the livery that many – myself included – consider to be the greatest in the history of the sport, the 1991 7-Up Jordan 191:
— Jordan 192 (@F1_Jordan_192) October 18, 2017
Following the departure of 7-Up, Hutchinson was tasked with creating a new identity for the team via their sponsorship deal with Sasol, and did a remarkable job of giving them another fresh and striking look:
In subsequent years Hutchinson and his team had their work cut out balancing this original look with the demands of a wide range of different sponsorship arrangements as Jordan carried out the financial footwork necessary to stay afloat; before the arrival of Benson & Hedges in 1996 gave them a brand new look. Initially, the cars rolled out in a mustard yellow colour scheme:
… before Hutchinson, after the opportunity to review how the cars looked on television, was able to come up with a memorable and popular gold paint job:
It wasn’t just at Jordan that Hutchinson made his mark, however. He was pretty much the go-to guy for good car design in the early 1990s (an era that, as anyone who follows the site will know, is just about my favourite for liveries), as this excellent roll of honour posted by the @F1_Jordan_192 Twitter account shows.
Particularly notable in this period were the 1994 Mild Seven Benetton:
Along with bright new colour schemes for teams including Moneytron Onyx in 1989:
AGS in 1991:
And Brabham in 1992:
In more recent years, he worked on another F1 Colours favourite, the 2010 Virgin:
One of his most famous works of all, meanwhile, came outside of F1, with the late 1980s, how-did-we-never-see-this-in-F1 Silk Cut Jaguar Le Mans livery:
As you can see, Ian’s contributions to the world of graphic design in Formula One, and motorsport in general, are perhaps more significant than any other individual. He’s responsible for styles and trends that echoed through the decades following his arrival in the sport, and can be said to have genuinely changed the face of it. In this article from 1992, Ian states his hope that the short-lived 7-Up livery would “go down as one of the Gold Leaf Lotus type of liveries”. I think anyone reading this site would agree that it achieved that, and then some.
Our thoughts go out to Ian’s family and friends at this time, and we thank him for his immeasurable contribution to this subject that we love so much.
Ian Hutchinson, 1960-2020