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Vintage Programs Made Racing Look A Lot Friendlier


By Michael Banovsky
01 April 2016

We can’t go back in time—and why would we want to?—but it’s too bad hand-drawn illustrations, not to mention hand-set typography and graphic design (plus many small, local printers) saw their share of the printing market dwindle in the face of digital-everything. Why? A lot of that hand-finished magic has been lost, especially when it comes to major league racing.

These days, I find that it’s easier and easier to say, “No” when a salesperson at the gate is offering a program.
Going back to the old days won’t solve everything, but there’s something about these older books that manages to excite without intimidating: when tracks relied on illustrations and limited materials, the end result was often more simple and engaging. If you’re working on an event program, consider that fans are there, on the grounds—what’s fun? What’s exciting?

What will make them want to hold onto the book for another 40 years? Race promoters and event organizers: I’ll gladly spend $10 on a nicely-done book—at the very least, it would save me the trouble of taking selfies to prove I was there.

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