In a recent Design Notes newsletter, Ray Brunner discussed various forms of alternative, environmentally sound transportation. We’ve been asked: “So, where is that white bicycle in the picture from?” In response, I was asked to provide a little background about it.
Several years ago I asked one of my bicycle geek friends to build me a bike. What resulted was my pride and joy – an all black hybrid of old-school track bike and new-school fixed gear. Since then I have been very content with it. Given my love for my bicycle and all things cycling related, about a year ago a friend asked if it was possible for me to build her a bicycle. I had already been tinkering with the idea of taking up bicycle building as a hobby to get myself out from behind the computer, and I had experience in restoring vintage motorcycles so I thought, “How difficult could it be?”
I began pulling the pieces together, both new and vintage, and got the build under way. Having worked as a graphic designer for the last 10 years, I know the value of designing for my client – not for myself – so my goal was to design the prototypical bike for her, both in function and form. The finished product turned out exactly as I imagined it from the start (see the above Design Notes pic) and when I handed it over to her I saw her face light up (this must be why parents give their children bicycles for Christmas). Once everything was tightened down, we took a ride through the park together and her excitement grew the further she rode. She was hooked on riding her new, Jeremy-designed bike and I was hooked on building them.
Since then I’ve had more requests for work and it has actually grown into a fun little side project. While most designers love to see their work preserved for all to see, I much prefer seeing mine locked up to a post and worn from use – that means the owner is out enjoying themselves.