1952 Palm Springs Road Races Track Map

1952 Palm Springs Road Races Track Map

I think we can all generally agree that the rapid increase in technology—particularly the desktop computer—has made society better in almost every way. Sure, maybe we’re all too buried in our phone screens, but the societal benefits of all that increased computation have made our medicine, our education, our entertainment, our jobs.. on the whole: faster, easier, more enjoyable. I have yet to find, however, a single example of a contemporary track map that is better designed or more engaging than those created by draftsmen hunched over a table with a pencil and a bottle of ink.

This example of the track map for the Palm Springs road races of 1952 is an excellent example. Would a contemporary track map designer sketch in these gorgeous little illustrations of the cars lined up on the track? Would a contemporary designer playfully wrap the typography of the turns around the contours of the map? I doubt it. I’m glad that Stan Parker signed his name to this masterpiece so we can thank someone specific. Thanks, Stan.

Race Tracks in Scale Proves How Mighty the ‘Ring is

Race Tracks in Scale

Redditor SirDunny posted a few (North and South) American track maps in scale a few days ago, but this update to include great racing circuits from around the world proves one thing fairly handily: The Nürburgring is not to be messed with. Only Pike’s Peak and La Sarthe even come close to the grandeur of the ‘Ring.

Imagine now if we lived in a world that could include the Mille Miglia or Targa Florio on this illustration. It only highlights that, as important as the Nürburgring is—and how vital it is that we save it—it is only the last best reminder of what racing courses once were.

SirDunny has made prints available at RedBubble.

More info on the Reddit thread.
via Save the Ring

Track Map of the Past: Grand Prix Automobile de Pau

Forgive the less than stellar scan of this circuit map for 1933’s inaugural running of the Gran Prix de Pau. Despite the poor resolution, you can see one of the elements I love in old track maps: the small illustrations of nearby buildings and landmarks. The elegantly hand lettered labels and arrows only help accentuate the glory of that little town illustration on the left side of the map.

Playing with points of view is something that seems to have gone away in contemporary track map design, but it’s common in the earlier maps we’ve featured. Having a top-down view of the track alongside isometric scenery illustration seems so illogical when I imagine it, but when I see the results on paper it works perfectly well. Compare to this map of the contemporary Pau map and join me in mourning (Even though it’s pretty good by contemporary track map design standards).