Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Separated at Birth, Italics and Bike Industry Trends
Look at these two logos. Incredibly similar right? Both are equally bad. Are the squiggles supposed to signify a letter "P" and some kind of a tornado for both Pinarello and Powerade? Is Pinarello's squiggle supposed to signify Valverde's blood spinning like mad in a shady Spanish doctor's centrifuge? Beyond the blood centrifuge/letter P, the designer for the Pinarello logo had very little work do to. After all, when you sign a contract to have all your frames made by 12 year olds in Taiwan, you also have to sign a contract stating that your logo MUST be typeset in italics. Don't believe me? Just look at the collection of logos below, which Cycling Inquisition's intern put together during her time off from washing my stable of bikes:
All italics. Pretty interesting right? I certainly think so, but let me also clear something up. The few dentists in our readership are probably upset after having looked at the image above. They're probably wondering why I would make a joke about all bikes made in Taiwan, and then show a Serotta logo. I know that Serotta frames are not made in Taiwan. I also don't want to get into any kind of legal trouble...so I'll clarify my previous statement. All bike companies do not have their frames made by 12 year olds in Taiwan. I was kidding. They are actually made by 10 year olds in China.
But let's get back to design. After seeing all those italic logos, you're probably wondering if there's a company that chooses to go against this trend. There is. As it turns out, the most revolutionary bike company in the world is Germany's Canyon. Not only do they not use italics, they actually use the opposite. The rare and dreaded anti-italics.
Why does Canyon feel they can be so different from every other bike company? Are their frames not made in Taiwan by 12 year olds? Have they found some alternate source of cheap or free labor? Oh no. Oh jesus. Whenever Germans start looking for sources of cheap or free labor, terrible things begin happen. I know these things, because there's a good bit of Jewish blood in my veins. It's kind of like having a gaydar, but for totalitarian regimes and the possibility of forced labor.
PS: Zack Morris rides. Thanks Kyle.