Cycling

Type Cycle.

Animated TypeWhat a nice combination of typography, 3D animation, and bikes. The video below is from Marcel Piekarski. It is a personal project he designed highlighting two things he loves, bicycles and type. He has created an entire alphabet, with posters and still frames for each letter here. This is such a wonderful little project. I hope someone is smart enough to distribute this for him as an actual typeface for designers and artist to use.

 

WingLights.

Since last November I have been contemplating  getting a bike and using it for quick runs to the grocery store, and other errands at the shopping area just down the road from my house. Since I started working from home in June, I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit more. I live on a street with a dedicated bike lane, and the exercise would do me good. The thing is, every time I drive on that same street I witness all the distracted drivers that gravitate right and hug that thin strip of asphalt given to cyclist. Frankly I’m surprised they haven’t had more accidents.

All of this brings up an important topic. How do we make cyclists more visible and safe, and give them a better way to signal to drivers what they are doing? The folks at CYCL have come up with a pretty solid solution for this. WingLights. The video below shows them in action, and if I get a new bike, this is one of the first things I’m getting for it. The price is right and the function of these is pretty unbeatable.

winglights

Knowing that every bike rider needs to see and, be seen by motorists, CYCL’s WingLights are a solid solution. The turn indicator light system mounts at the end of your handlebars, and is activated with a touch of a button that you have on each one of them. They indicator stays on for about 45 seconds, or you can turn them off by simply tapping the activation button. When you get to your destination, simply detach them from the handlebars, click them together and attach them to the included carabiner.

 

Funked Up Fixies from Wolf and Lamm.

Dublin Ireland based bike builder “Funked Up Fixies” creates bright customizable bikes in a variety of ranges and styles. They are a young company filled with passionate  young and creative individuals that are into skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and cycling. The fixed gear bikes they produce are built around the idea of  low maintenance, urban suitability, and fun. The video below was produced by Wolf & Lamm for Funked up Fixies an features a sexy, colorful and dramatic spot all set to a soundtrack of French pop music. The look captures the vibe of the company and the product they produce in a somewhat cheeky fashion. One that would probably never make it on prime time TV in America. The clip has a great look,  and just the right amount of humor to make it work.

Viks, from Velonia.

Bicycles come and go, and for the most part the design remains fairly constant. Occasionally though, a bike design pops up on the radar that is different enough it really gets my attention. Viks is one of those designs. Designed and built by Estonian bike maker Velonia, Viks features a Stainless steel frame without seat tube. The frame consists of two identical tubes that form the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket. Still in prototype phase Velonia is shooting for a small production release later in the April, with full production runs starting later in the year. If you are interested in getting on Viks send an email to info@velonia.com to join the waiting list.

VIKS_1 VIKS_2 VIKS_3 VIKS_4

“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.

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.

Italia Veloce. Hand Crafted for You.

BESPOKE: custom-made <a bespoke suit> b : dealing in or producing custom-made articles.

The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak, to “speak for something”, in the specialized meaning “to give order for it to be made”. The term bespoke in fashion is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men’s clothing, analogous to women’s haute couture, in contrast with mass manufactured ready-to-wear (also called off-the-peg or off-the-rack). While widespread in the United Kingdom, the term is rarely employed in the United States, although it may be used by some in the high-end tailoring business.

Italia Veloce creates top of the line bikes, that feature hand crafted artistic touches and cultural references. While the bikes might not be bespoke in the truest sense of the word, they are representative of fine Italian craftsmanship and quality; of a hand built object, a one of a kind piece of craftsmanship.

These hand built one of kind classical frames, are individually numbered and cataloged. Frame numbers are impressed by hand into the patch and attached to the bike when it is completed. The registration booklet that accompanies each bike is filled with detailed information about the frame’s characteristics along with information regarding the whole bicycle. Each modifacation of the bike or tuning is continuously noted in the booklet helping to maintain the bicycles provenance for the company’s historical archive. That provenance helps establish each bike as a unique work of hand crafted art.