Designing the M7Electro – Mark Antar Design Interview

After the highly successful and well-received unveiling of our M7Electro last week, we sat down to chat with Mark Antar Design, who worked closely with our in-house team to create the dreamiest livery of the year.

Congratulations on the design, Mark! What was your main inspiration behind this highly praised livery?

We wanted to focus on Mahindra’s main colours of white and red, which are way more prominent on this year’s livery. The design was developed to perfectly fit and emphasise the aggressive and striking looking chassis of a Gen2 Formula E car. The Fluro Red has become a strong part of Mahindra Racing’s identity, and by applying it on a clean white base, it is sure to grab everyone’s attention under any lighting conditions!

In the end, we tried to keep it clean and sharp, ditching any unnecessary design elements. This approach ensured we ended up with a classic and dynamic livery that could serve as a strong baseline for any future developments.

And what was the design process whilst working with the Mahindra Design team?

I worked directly with Dilbagh Gill in the opening stages which made the whole process very efficient and straightforward. I initially developed some concept livery proposals, which we used as a baseline for further development. We had a pretty tight schedule due to the pandemic, but we managed to finalise the design in a matter of two weeks.

We then evolved the design and made countless revisions to strike the perfect balance. It was a very extensive process since all the designs were developed in 3D, but the results made it more than worth it!

Have you always been involved in graphic design?

I have been interested in everything art related since I was a kid, especially automotive design. The first ever car I sketched in middle school was a Porsche 911. Ever since that moment, I haven’t stopped designing and creating. My passion for both design and motorsport lead me to start designing liveries. It was always a hobby of mine, but I decided to take it a step further after the first 2021 F1 concept design was released in 2018. I took this opportunity to design some concept liveries which the F1 community loved! That was the moment that launched me onto this path!

What makes a perfect standout livery?

It is always important to study and pretty much memorise the shape of a chassis a designer is working on, be it in 2D or 3D. Even an iconic livery could look bad if it’s not adapted well on a different chassis style. Most importantly, the designer has to have a single objective and story in mind for the design, and you want whoever is looking at the livery to immediately get the point behind it. I feel like these two points are rarely mentioned, but they are extremely essential to come up with a successful design.

The livery has to look good in person, on television, on camera and in various lighting. How do you go about ensuring this?

When I work on a livery in 3D, I test it under various lighting conditions, environments, camera perspectives and angles, which gives me a good idea on how to improve and refine the design, so that it works under any circumstances.

I also always study various cars and livery designs from the past to ensure that a design works. There are many examples out there for us to learn from and form a strong base, which has become something of a second nature for me.

Mark’s Top Tips for aspiring graphic designers:

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • Use social media to get the attention of the motorsport community and teams
  • Keep practicing
  • Build your portfolios