Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Herron School of Art representatives unveiled the official logo for the 2004 Indianapolis 500 on Thursday. The logo represents a clean, retrospective design worthy of the heritage of the world's most prestigious auto race.

Track officials took a new approach in commissioning the logo's design, said Joie Chitwood, senior vice president of business affairs for IMS. The Speedway commissioned the Professional Design Practice class at the Herron School of Art at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) to design prospective logos for the 88th Indianapolis 500, which takes place May 30, 2004.

"We had six students from the Herron School of Art, and we had six great choices," Chitwood said. "I was telling the dean earlier that we had some tough choices to make. But we settled on one that was representative of next year's race."

A design by IUPUI senior Greg Beall was chosen. Beall said he did a tremendous amount of research into the history and development of the Indianapolis 500 while devising his design.

"The inspiration behind the logo is I like the older designs and the aesthetic quality, but I wanted to mix in some the things that have been illustrated in the newer designs," Beall said. "This is what we came up with. It has a retro feel. A lot of the things I found interesting about the track happened in the 30s and 40s with the open cockpit, half-helmet and goggles. This arrived from that."