Rennat designs

Helmet painting – Rennat Design

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What design would you commission?

This time around we’re featuring helmets – and these safety devices are more than just practical, they’re art. More than that, for a professional race driver or rider they’re also their trademarks – their identities whilst their faces are masked.

We spoke to Joe Tanner of Rennat Design – the man behind some massive names in motorsport including around half the BTCC grid, like Adrian Flux-backed Ash Sutton – for some insider info.

Influx: How did you start designing and painting helmets?

Joe Tanner: “I work as a full-time race instructor at Knockhill but always had an interest in art having been to art college after school, I started painting as a hobby and did a design for my friend Rory Butcher in 2009, then it just took off, I was full-time painting helmets within six months of that first design.”

Influx: Have you got a favourite design you’ve done for someone else?

JT: “I did a helmet for Lando Norris a few years ago when he did the Macau F3 race, it’s probably my favourite, it has a roulette table on top and the Macau skyline on the rear, it also won us the Europe helmet painter of the year award in 2016 which was pretty cool.”

Influx: Do you have a personal design for yourself?

JT: “Yes but it old now, I really need a new one but I’m to busy painting for my customers to find the time!”

Influx: What’s the trickiest design you’ve had to do?

JT: “Ash Sutton’s are always tricky, he likes a lot of detail and some difficult effect to get right.”

Influx: How much does a bespoke helmet paint cost?

JT: “Anywhere between £450-£1500 depending on how complex the design is and the detail involved.”

Influx: How much input do you put into designs like Ash Sutton’s special anniversary ‘black and white’ helmet?

JT: “Ash works closely with Miles Murphy at MDM designs to create a computer-generated image before I start to paint, however, I add a few small tweaks and effects myself once I get going.”

credit Greg Toth

Influx. What kind of helmets can and can’t be painted?

JT: “These days we can paint just about everything out there.”

Influx: Have you got any upcoming projects you’re allowed to tell us about?

JT “I just got a new Stilo shell for Jamie Chadwick which I’m looking forward to doing, Jamie has a rough outline of a design which features the JC on the side but she lets me get a bit creative with it, which is normally how we end up with something cool…”

Rennat designs

See more of Joe’s helmet designs at or on his Instagram