Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wheel design

I spotted these new Reynolds wheels in the shop yesterday, when I stopped in on my way home from work. Right away I thought, "those look fast". Of course I couldn't resist the urge to pick them up. I went for the front wheel, and honestly I was kind of shocked how light it was. Its a 66mm areo wheel, I wasn't expecting it to feel like a climbing wheel.

This of course got me thinking, like damn these wheels would be fun to ride. I mean holy shit they have got to be fast. Needles to say tubular wheels not piratical for commuting, but that's not enough to stop me. If I really had to I could always get on the buss or call a freaking cab.

The main thing that would stop me from ridding these wheels is the decals are freaking ugly. I'm just not feeling the huge Reynolds logo and the little tear drop shape. Being a graphic designer I admit I am more sensitive to this kind of thing than an average consumer. But its important, I don't care how nice a bike is, if I think its ugly I'm not going to want to ride it. There are plenty of other nice looking, high performance bikes out in the market. Sure Colnago makes a nice frame, but at some point I'm going to have to look at it. That shouldn't be a painful experience. Sadly, though the road bike market is chock full of ugliness.
So maybe your thinking, maybe I should stop complaining and try to do something about it. Well I'm here to tell you, that I'm trying and someone was even crazy enough to give me a real chance.

A few months ago I was contacted by Wheeltags, who received my email from a referral by way of bikesnob (thanks again snob) . Wheel tags apparently was pitching ideas to SRAM, who was in the process of releasing their new line of wheels. It seems SRAM was thinking about licensing wheel tags graphics technology and design style.
Here's a little background info on the SRAM wheels. SRAM has recently acquired Zipp, and is using the technology from Zipps line of Flash Point wheels to create their own line of SRAM branded wheels.
So heres where I come in, Wheel tags apparently was in a bit of a fix on a tight schedule and needed like a 2 hour turn around.

"We have a heavyweight meeting at 2pm tomorrow, so we are in a SUPER rush. We need hot, sexy tag ideas using a wheel builder’s logo. No parameters besides making it look HOT, different and unique!"- Wheeltags

They asked me if I was interested, after a little deliberation I decided to go for it. In the end I had about 4 hours for the project and the examples I have shown are what I sent to SRAM. I did however receive some initial positive feedback.

"It went very well. In fact, they have been having some internal discussions about putting the kibosh on their existing design (which they do not like) in favor of one of yours. This has created quite the stir at SRAM headquarters and we understand that their ID team is coming in to discuss. I will let you know how things unfold over the next few days. Your designs were wicked, and clearly hit the right buttons. Thanks again for executing these concepts in such a tight turnaround and for making Wheeltags look good."- Wheeltags

But in the end as this image shows. The final out come was SRAM decided against going with the Wheeltags technology / design and used their in house concept. Although I do know for a fact, they changed their design after I showed them mine. Not a big change realy, just slightly mostly just making the logo bigger. I have never received any compensation for my efforts, but just knowing that I had an opportunity to submit designs to the only major American component manufacturing company is quite satisfying. Also I would like to thank everyone involved for giving me the opportunity. And I want to go to the record saying I don't think SRAM ripped of my design, they are clearly different. But hey, anyone at SRAM if your reading, this it would be siiick if you sent me a set a wheels, I'll take S60's


ant1 said...

Good work Erik. Your designs are definitely much better. I know very little about graphic design, but it sure looks like they ripped off the 3 logos aspect of your designs. How flattering that must be.

PO said...

you got ripped off dude...anyway, good on ya for a posi attitude about it. Your designs were better and they suck it b/c they could have done the honest thing and paid you there but are a bit slimy.

Anonymous said...

how i can buy this stickers le tme know

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