DETROIT, Mich. (March 29, 2018) – For the sixth consecutive year the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear worked with the talented design students at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit to create the event’s annual Official Commemorative Poster. On Wednesday, March 28, the design for the Grand Prix’s 2018 poster was selected during a comprehensive judging process at the CCS campus.

Joe Dao from Lake Orion, who is a junior at CCS, created the winning design that was selected from the final five entries that were presented during Wednesday’s final judging of the Grand Prix’s annual poster competition. Dao’s unique poster design (attached) was based on a comic book theme depicting two of the cars that race at the Grand Prix – a Verizon IndyCar series machine and an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship car – racing side by side with the tire smoke behind the vehicles creating a silhouette of the iconic Scott Fountain on Belle Isle.

“Joe’s design is what you would picture in your head if you imagined a racing event poster,” said Michael Montri, President of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, who also served as a judge of the poster competition on Wednesday.  “It immediately catches your eye. Some of the other things I liked about it was it is done in a comic book style, which speaks not only to a racing fan but also speaks to some of the younger generation that reads comic books currently. Joe’s design also has some hidden elements like using the smoke to accentuate Scott Fountain. I think our fans will love the finished product as our Official Poster for 2018.” 

In addition to a prestigious six-judge panel that evaluated and critiqued the final five student poster designs, the Grand Prix also included a fan vote for the first time in the six-year history of the competition with CCS. All five designs were posted on the Grand Prix social media channels the day before the judging and the fan’s choice counted as one vote among the judges. The fan also selected Dao’s design as the winning entry.

“Honestly, I was pretty surprised when I won. We had a lot of good designs in the top five,” said Dao. “I went through over 20 different sketches and concepts, laying the out the cars in different ways and this is what I came up with.”

The judges that participated on site at CCS Wednesday and listened to all five students describe the vision and process behind their creations included Montri; General Motors Industrial Design Manager, Stuart Cooper; Lear Corporation Global Marketing & Communications Manager, Mara Ignatius; WXYZ Channel 7 sports anchor/reporter, Brad Galli; Detroit News Design Director, James Hollar and CCS Professor and Chair of Advertising Design, Ryan Ansel.

The five finalists are students in the Digital Illustration class taught by instructor Brian Kotulis at CCS. Some of the top illustration and design students in the country study at CCS, the Midtown Detroit institution, and the Grand Prix has provided the opportunity for the students’ talent to shine in the annual poster contest. The students also gain real-world experience in working with an actual “client” to create a professional look and feel for the finished creation. The competition gives the students a chance to create a unique piece of art while keeping alive the Grand Prix tradition of commemorative posters dating back to the very first Detroit Grand Prix in 1982.

CCS student Lauren Nyquist finished second in the competition while the design created by Lauren Bullard was selected as the third-place entry by the judges.

The finished poster design created by Dao will be officially unveiled on April 24 during a media lunch with the Detroit Sports Media organization, featuring former Grand Prix winner and Verizon IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan. The 2018 poster will also be available for purchase that day through the event’s official web site,

Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising: Copywriting, Advertising Design, Communication Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fashion Accessories Design, Fine Arts, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the MFA program can major in Color and Materials Design, Integrated Design, Interaction Design, and Transportation Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Continuing and Precollege Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs. 



The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear is a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Scheduled for June 1-3, 2018, the event will include the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit featuring the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic with the exotic sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the high-flying trucks of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. Partners for the 2018 Grand Prix include General Motors and Lear Corporation. For more information, visit and follow our social media pages at and