Kentucky Derby Logo

Kentucky Derby LogoKentucky Derby Logo PNG

Kentucky Derby is the oldest sporting event in the United States. The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875, in front of 10,000 enthusiastic spectators. Until 1896, 15 three-year-old horses ran a distance of 2.41 kilometers, and that distance has since been cut by a quarter.

Meaning and history

Kentucky Derby Logo history

The Kentucky Derby has been played since 1875 and is one of the oldest classic prizes in the United States, with a museum already established in its honor. Together with the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby is part of the American Triple Crown series. The horse that wins all three prizes is called “Thrice Crowned”, which is the most honored title in the racing world.

The event is also known as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”, in which horses average 2011 meters in the “Race for the Roses” – another name that came from the tradition of giving the winning horse a garland of 554 roses. About one hundred and fifty thousand people gather at Churchill Downs Racecourse every year for these two minutes, among them many celebrities – including Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

The top prize in this race is a million dollars. And the fate of that money is entirely at the horse’s feet. That’s why they offer huge sums of money for the best horses. So it was with a true racing legend – a stallion named American Pharaoh. His owner for one of the best horses in history offered 30 million dollars. Pharaoh won absolutely all of the most prestigious competitions and thus made his owner rich.

The Kentucky Derby opens with a whole series of festivities – the so-called “Kentucky Derby Festival” with balls, concerts in the central square, and various competitions. Two weeks before the race, one of the largest pyrotechnic shows in the world, lasting 30 minutes and broadcast worldwide, is held.

What is the Kentucky Derby?
Kentucky Derby is the name of one of the premier events in the world of horse racing, one of three thoroughbred races for three-year-olds in America’s legendary Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont), an annual event that attracts the cream of society. The derby program is not limited to horse racing. The Kentucky Derby Festival lasts a full two weeks.

In terms of visual identity, Kentucky Derby is all about its heritage and history. The elegant logo of the event is based on an image of a rose. The scarlet rose is the floral symbol of the tournament. The winner of the race is awarded a luxurious poncho with 554 live scarlet roses, as well as a cash prize of 1 million dollars.

???? – 2013

Kentucky Derby Logo old

The logo of the Kentucky Derby, used by the event until 2013, was composed of a delicate emblem in red and gold, and a two-leveled serif lettering in black under it. The emblem depicted a red rose, the main symbol of the competition, placed inside a Golden Horseshoe.

Why the rose? Because a special garland of 554 red roses is made for the winner of the race. The garland is decorated with a “crown” of roses, a green fern, and a ribbon. “Crown” is a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, symbolizing the struggle and fortitude needed to win the race.

2013 – Today

Kentucky Derby Logo

The redesign of 2013 has kept the main elements of the Kentucky Derby visual identity but slightly switched the composition. The red rose in a horseshoe emblem is now placed between the black “Kentucky” and the golden “Derby”, which are still executed in the same typeface as on the previous logo. Now all of the elements are set in one horizontal line against a plain white background.

Font and color

Kentucky Derby Emblem

The elegant uppercase lettering from the primary Kentucky Derby logo is executed in a fine and sophisticated serif typeface with the elongated bars of the first “K” in “Kentucky” and the “R” in “Derby”. The closest commercial fonts to the one, used in this insignia, are, probably, Wolfgang, DaunPenh, or Halesworthtrade, but with some minor modifications.

As for the color palette of the Kentucky Derby visual identity, it is based on three shades— black, red, and gold. These three colors create an extremely elegant scheme, which evokes a sense of excellence, luxury, and timelessness.