Living first in Detroit, followed by New York and San Francisco, I have been witness to the continuous surge in biking popularity. Everyone–from serious racers and marathoners to (all-season) commuters, tour riders and explorers–is riding more. Like a lot of sub-cultures, there’s a design sub-culture that expands right along with it.
I had a chance to explore and add to that design culture when my good friend and city councilperson Melanie Piana approached me about creating an identity for a bicycling enthusiast group for women called Skirts Heels + Wheels. Based in the hip and happening hamlet of Ferndale, Michigan, just north of Detroit, Skirts Heels + Wheels is:
…a supportive community of women riding bikes, in style, in metro Detroit. We meet to celebrate cycling, looking fabulous and sexy, in skirts, dresses and heels, or whatever makes you feel good while riding your two wheels.
I love working with bicycle culture because it’s so rife with great design, iconography and inspirational personalities. I discussed the identity with Melanie and we talked about other groups like Cycle Chic, which has member groups in cities worldwide–Copenhagen for instance. My research for inspiration turned up some great designs.
Left to Right: Blood • Sweat • Chemo poster by Jason Miller, I Bike Douglas logo by Ty Wilkins, promotional illustration by Andrew Lyons
In the end, even though Melanie was initially just looking for a quick, clean logotype, it quickly morphed into a larger project. My exploration of the cycling design culture was so fruitful I couldn’t resist digging in and developing a complete logo mark for her project. The final designs [top] exceeded her expectations and was one of the most enjoyable projects I worked on this year.