Bicycles

“Peak Season” Colorado in the Fall, Yeti Cycles.

One of the things I like about a lot of the video advertising work that is being produced for the web is the lack of confinement. By that I mean the people producing these works aren’t locked into 15 and 30 second edit lengths, and there is less of a direct message push. Many of the videos I see that are sponsored by and produced for a specific brand these days have more of a lifestyle feel to them. Case in point is the beautiful video below for Yeti Cycles.

Filmed and directed by Craig Grant this video is as much about the joy of being in Colorado in early fall, as it is about Yeti Cycles. There is no dialog, no direct message, no in your face selling, just a guy on a bike riding through absolutely gorgeous mountain scenery. Grant does a masterful job filming the biker as he carves his way down the mountain, through the golden glow of the aspens. At the end, there is a single splash screen with the company logo on it.

I find this successful for a couple of reasons. First it created a lasting memory. One that I now associate with Yeti Cycles. Two, it is something people want to share, which in fact spreads brand awareness. This is the kind of ad I wouldn’t skip, mute, or fast forward over. It’s the kind of advertising that could in fact be compressed into a broadcast length and still be effective. Even the supporting editorial on Vimeo lack the in your face style so much advertising presents. It’s about the location, and the ride, not the product.

“Like every other season, fall is pretty magical in the Colorado high country. By the end of summer, cool winds are already moving over the mountains and the peaks are getting dusted with snow. The aspens shed their leaves, covering the trails in red and gold, and morning frosts dampen the dry summer dirt. Add it all together, and it means several weeks of absolutely prime singletrack—sticky, colorful, and emptied of the summertime foot traffic. It was in search of those conditions that we headed into the mountains with our SB66s and a checklist of our favorite trails.”

I hope this style of advertising catches on in a larger way.

Talk About Skills. Bob Case’s Pedal Craft Poster Illustration Process.

I always find it to be a bit hard to explain why good design, photography, motion graphics, and illustration etc. is worth the money you pay for it. I often hear things like “It’s a soft skill”, from people that work in fields that are the polar opposite of the visual arts.

The poster below is by illustrator Bob Case. He has roughly thirty hours of time put in making this. If you have any doubt as to why, watch the video below it. The thirty hours of creative process, most of which is executed in Photoshop, is compressed into five minutes. It shows his skills as an illustrator, and proves beyond any doubt the visual arts are anything but a “Soft Skill”. As you watch the video, Case’s attention to detail is revealed as he works and reworks sections of the illustration.

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Growler, A City Bike With a Purpose… Beer.

Would you look at that, a city bike designed with a dual purpose. Transportation, and transporting beer.

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Designed by Joey Ruiter, the bike makes a statement with it’s rugged inverted J frame, monarch spring loaded front fork, oversized beer holder (hence the name Growler), matte black finish and two speed internal kick back hub. The bike concept is a working sketch prototype according to the designer, but I personally hope they make this into a production bike soon.

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The bike has such a unique profile that separates it from all other city and commuter bikes. The frame is heavy duty, but the shape lends an air of lightness to the profile. Placement of the seat low, and inline with the top cross bar add a feeling of toughness and an old school bike aesthetic. The oversized 29 inch wheels can take on what ever city streets have to offer. The disc brakes and other features let you know that this is a modern bike.

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Then there is the holder for the “Growler” a one gallon bottle of cold hoppy goodness. Not a required feature for a city or commuter bike, but definitely a feature that puts a smile on my face.

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The Life of Cycle, Gestalten and Velo – 2nd Gear.

velo2_sideOne of the reasons I like Gestalten, besides the fact that they make really cool books, is the fact that they produce short films to promote them. Really well made little films that sometimes extend the content of the book, and sometimes promote it. In the case of “The Life of Cycle” they are promoting their new book “Velo – 2nd Gear”.

The video not only promotes the contents of the book, it introduces you to individuals that are featured in it, places mentioned int he book, and shows of the wonderful page layouts that make up the book itself.

Velo – 2nd Gear illuminates and celebrates contemporary bike culture from classic to high tech. From the fixed gear scene to fashionable city cruisers. In addition this book showcases today’s most outstanding and unusual bicycles and their riders.

The book introduces coveted manufacturers, specialized boutiques, and historical tours. Velo – 2nd Gear also explains how each bike scene cultivates its own distinct codes through everything from the choice of bike frames, clothing, and by visiting specific events or establishments. The book shows why, for more and more people, bikes have  replaced their cars as the mode of transporatation that best express their identity.