I'm a graphic designer who has recently found himself designing more and more graphics for bike frames... and I need some help from the pros out there.
When designing for normal, classic frames with straight tubes I have no problem producing graphics decals to fit. But lately, I'm having quite a difficult time designing "correctly-sized" decals for a client of mine who produces uniquely shaped frames (various tube shapes and curves)...
I'm wondering if any experts can point me in the right direction for surface area formulas, CAD programs for the mac, and general practice and theory notes on bike decal design.... etc...
PLEASE HELP IN THE NAME of GOOD BIKE DESIGN!!!!!
sincerely, a new graphic artist serving the greater biking community
Last edited by bloomanchoo; 03-11-05 at 12:45 PM.
I can't help you, I just wanted to say I hate graphics on my bikes.
on bmx bikes, they are stickers you can easily remove. on my mtn. bike, they clear coat over the graphics. I hate that.
Sorry, I can't help you, but maybe you can help me.
I have a couple of simple powder-coated bikes that need tarting up.
If I send you text or graphics files, can you produce durable decals for me?
I would pay you for them, of course.
Ciao for now,
pnj: I have to agree with you... I went to a few bike shows in the past year for research sake... and man, there are some really ugly graphics out there!!! and most are very generic... bold text, italicized for that "fast" look... eeeesh... I hope to do better...
I don't actually "produce" the graphics... the manufacturer or bike designers I have been working for actually either have their own in-house production or decal vendors they go through for the actual fabrication... but if your looking to have the artwork made ready for press or in need of an artist... that I might be able to help with.... let me know.
hey all... while we are on the subject.
I wouldn't mind hearing from you about your favorite bike decal designs... or manufacturers that you think excell in this area.
I like just plain paint. If a company wants to pay me, i'll put their stickers on my bike. otherwise, I advertise for no one.
just a plain bike is perfect for me. I magic markered the logo's out of my parts.
IMO a company should put their name on the frame no more than 2 times (once on each side). This is the main reason that I stay away from TREK's which on average have their name on the bike half a dozen times. I like when the graphics are more of a "that looks cool who made that bike" kind. Graphics should be art not utilitarian.
I'm with pnj on this if they want their name on my bike that many times it should be alot cheaper.
I agree with you graphic design in the biking world really is hurtin'. I personally feel that if I am gonna drop a few K's on a bicycle, then at the very least that bike should look aesthetically pleasing, in terms of the graphics. Sometimes it is not all about the graphics but rather the finish of the paint.
Originally Posted by bloomanchoo
If possible I would love to get my frame and certain components hard anodized (type III) in a natural 'olive drab' colour but I know that would cost a small fortune.
As with decals, I like having them on my bike but 'decal overkill' is something most manufacturers are often guilty of.
Personally I tend to think that road bikes generally have more innovative graphics with regards to the paint colour schemes and graphics...
PS: Can you imagine an entire bike finished in HA Type III.... just sick... and you would know that the parts would be nearly scratch proof and the finish would be durable as hell......
Last edited by shabbasuraj; 03-12-05 at 12:41 AM.
I'd say four - left, right, headtube, seattube.
Originally Posted by CPcyclist
Has any one tried printing photographs onto decals for their bike?
I'm a photographer, and thought it might be fun to have a shot of a tall tree or waterfall on my downtube, or maybe a veeeeerrrry wide panorama on the side(s) of the top tube.
I have researched this a bit, and understand that I should probably do the following:
* use waterslide decals with white backing
* spray over it with a clear coat
I heard there can be problems with black ink, but have not done any experiments yet.
* can anyone recommend specific brands of decals?
* where can I buy them?
It might look like crap, but hey, I can always paint over it!
Sofa King Fast
interesting thread, im a bit of an artist my self and have only gone as far as flaming my bike, not finsihed just yet, but im trying to determine if i should folow through with painting with all this cold weather hitting NY lately, and just wait til it warms up, or rush it and finish asap. Ive experimented by putting abstract designs(think of those abstract desktop background type of things) ive done in photoshop, cut them up into shapes and taped em to my bike but looked too "hey, some little kid rides this bike here" so i trashed it.
Bloom what problem are you having in terms of "correctly sized decals"
do you mean how to take into account the curve of the tubular frame?
id like t help, but i work on windows, which when helping a college friend who had a mac screwed him up, because of slight differences in the interface.
and companies should put thier name on thier products execpt on the bikes that pros use, i truely doubt some guy riding behind me is gunna want to buy products on my bike, Lance armstrong, thats different. I too get rid of those stupid company brandings for the sake of a clean looking machine.
There's plenty of guys on ebay that will custom print stuff for you. We has some with our business logo made up - $2.50 each for 10.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of paint. We're going to anodize our tandem in different colors.
I've made stickers for my bikes for years.
To make a strange shape, just use some thin tracing paper: wrap it as needed, a little tape here and there, mark where you want the image.
Pull off the bike and use as template.
wheelin in the years
In Regards to Bluemanachoo's follow up question what decal/manufactures we like.
I am currently removing decals from a mid 80's Centurion that are awfull.
The are offensive is several ways ( I have been thinking of this in some detail as I soak and peal and scrape)
1) The desighn itself is bad: random Triangles, squares, circles and squigles in various ugly colors teal, dusty red, purple. Did no one in the desighn to marketing process stop and say "hey that is just ugly what are we thinking?"
2) The bike is a mid to low level with tange infinity tubing and mid grade components BUT IT IS A DURABLE GOOD. The bike is at least 20 yoa but it is still in excellent condition. Being lugged steel construction I assume (with proper care) my children will be able to ride it. "Fads" (ie Big hair, pastel sport coats and intentional 5 O' clock shadows) come and go therefore thier related graphics should not be put on a durable good.
What I do like? Just like a well built bicycle : simple but elegant.
Another person put it well to paraphrase : If a 12 year old boy will think its cool don't do it!
I think raleigh and gary fisher have some good decal design. Regarding to surface area's you might want to check on mathworld, or wolfram.math...I don't remember the rest, just search.
Originally Posted by bloomanchoo
I think whoever designed Cervelo's graphics did an amazing job. Very contemporary graphics that seem to overlap the frame, but stick to (get it?) the traditional "panels" style where the manufacturer's name is in a contrasting color panel on the down and seat tube. A Cervelo road frame wouldn't really look unique without the decals, but with them, you can see what it is from a mile away.
Would there be a Photoshop plug in? If you find a program for what you want, please post the name!
I made these decals for a cheap steel frame I bought on-line and built up with spare parts.
The frame came bare no stickers at all.