Thoughts of Spring

As some of you may know I race bicycles, and with the racing season just getting underway in the northeast my thoughts inevitably turn to new gear. 

Spring conjures any number of thoughts in other peoples imaginations. For me their are images of skewers custom forged in England from the latest titanium alloy and brightly anodized, kevlar fiber spokes, wireless power meters, carbon fiber stem upgrades, you get the point, a real gear head.  

There are lots of reasons to race and ride that may seem obvious: fun, camaraderie, fitness, competition. But I also must admit to a simple fondness for the design aspects of the gear. There are times, at a starting line, when I just look around and can’t help but admire the amazingly beautiful rolling sculpture all around me. Yes technology has influenced design in many ways, with bicycles it has given amazing freedom to the designers.

cc-image-comboAs you can see from the images above, from the website of a wonderful company called Competitive Cyclist, new materials like carbon fiber, and new ways of using alloys like titanium and aluminum have given designers amazing freedom to create forms and shapes unknown just a decade ago.

Even if you don’t ride, you simply admire great things well designed, go to their web site and browse. Not only does the site look super but the gear looks almost universally well designed.

And the wonderful thing is that this stuff doesn’t just look better, it works better, lasts longer, and is safer. Form and function at its best.

Acknowledgements

The images above are copyrighted by Competitive Cyclist

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About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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