Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos for 2017

Kentucky-Derby-143-logo small -2017Churchill Downs Racetrack unveiled the official logos for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 143 between races on Saturday’s “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing event. The logos were designed by SME, a New York-based marketing agency that has developed the official Derby and Oaks marks since 2007. The running of the 143nd Longines Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands will take place on May 5 and 6, 2017, respectively.

For the Kentucky Derby 143 logo, Churchill Downs challenged SME to create a design that captured a single iconic moment from the most exciting two minutes in sports. Via a simple identity that features a horse and jockey charging from the starting gate, surrounded by a horseshoe retaining shape, the logo SME developed places the viewer squarely in one of the most exciting moments of the event. A refined yet masculine font for the words “Kentucky Derby” is paired with the icon to further represent the power and beauty of the thoroughbred. A color palette of sky and navy blue was applied to the logo to reinforce the overall look.

“For the 143 event logo, we explored several graphic paths to capture a moment in time and that special feeling people get when they attend the Kentucky Derby,” said Ed O’Hara, President and Chief Creative Officer at SME. “For this year’s mark, we feature a horse and jockey charging from the starting gate to capture not only that moment of pure anticipation, but also to celebrate the sheer beauty of the thoroughbred.”

2017 ky oaks smallThe Kentucky Oaks 143 logo continues the horseshoe imagery established two years ago that features the stargazer lily and the number of years the race has been run. The use of pink in the design reflects the Oaks Day “Pink Out” theme and Churchill Downs’ continued commitment to drive national awareness of the importance of breast and ovarian health.

The logos will be used on a wide variety of Kentucky Derby and Oaks merchandise, including apparel for the whole family, glassware, jewelry and other collectibles and gift items. Women’s and men’s T-shirts featuring the logo are available now at Additional official merchandise will be available online, at Churchill Downs Racetrack, the Louisville International Airport, the Kentucky Derby Museum Gift Shop and other retail outlets over the summer.

The above was issued as SME Press Release!