The Collection - Modernist Cycling Posters June 01, 2016 16:45

MODERNIST CYCLING

About 18 months ago I spotted a series of posters produced by Mike Joyce of Stereotype Design in which he re-designed old alternative bands’ gig flyers into hundreds of posters in the classic Swiss modernist graphic design style.

That love of modernism is what caught my eye to Mike’s collection and it provided some inspiration in producing 40 separate posters for the best known post war road cyclists. I felt the style and sentiment of a Modernist approach fitted perfectly with the world of cycling. Streamlined, colourful and packed with stories, legends and monikers – sometimes affectionate, often reverential. 

The criteria was that all names must be retired in order that their race records would not be affected (so for fans of Contador, Valverde, Cancellara etc, their time will come!). 

The second element was to celebrate the best of the stage Grand Tour and one-day Monument race winners, so the ‘qualification’ was the three ‘Grand Tours’ of Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España and the Monuments of Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Milan-Sanremo, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Giro di Lombardia.

The third element was the most important, which was to make the designs reflect or represent the riders themselves. That could mean racing colours, riding style, nationality, anything that ensured an abstract design was relevant rather than just throwing shapes and colours together.

Each poster carries the abstract design set within square format and each one carries a name reference, usually the rider’s nickname, integrated into the design.

The framed design sits on an outer grey/silver mount, which carries the rider’s name, place of birth and the associated race victories.

The foot of the poster includes a brief biography of each rider and a very brief explanation of the rationale behind each Modernist design.

All typography uses the font Proxima. Yes, Akzidenz Grotesk or Neue Haas Grotesk might have added a Swiss Modernist authenticity but this was about using an influence, not making a copy!

It’s been a real labour of love and I hope you like the designs. Again my gratitude to Mike Joyce for providing the influence for this project, and if you’d like to visit his work then you can go to swissted.com and see what a clever chap he is.