the bicycle alliance
In 2016, as part of my Branding and Identity course, I created an identity for a local bicycle advocacy group, the Bicycle Alliance. Read more about the course's collaboration with the Bicycle Alliance here.
about the client
In Ann Arbor, there are many groups concerned with bicycles—including safety, recreation, sport, education, awareness, advocacy, among others. Together, these groups involve hundreds of people, ranging from children to adults, from competitors to recreational riders. The problem, then: these groups do not communicate.
The main goal of the Bicycle Alliance is to forge a connection between the different bicycle groups in the area. Tighter communication and a strong sense of unity would lead to more influence, power, and visibility in the area, which in turn might affect policy and public opinion. The Bicycle Alliance seeks to harness the collective power of a large, cohesive community of bicyclists to their benefit.
I started with mind-mapping to gain a better sense of the associations with bicycles themselves as well as the name 'Bicycle Alliance.'
I was drawn to the idea of superheroes, emblems, and links for the first round of drafts concepts. Since the bicycle, as an object, has a strong linear shape, I decided to pursue a linear style.
These options were really busy and didn't reference the bicycle as much as I wanted to. I tried to bring back the frame of the bicycle, but it still looked cluttered and forced.
So I started back again at square one. The bicycle itself already has a very complicated shape that is recognizable and harmonious, so I decided to use only the bicycle itself to illustrate the idea of 'connections.'
These ideas were moving in a better direction, even if some became too abstract. I thought the last exploration was interesting, but it looked a little like a pile of bicycles.
I made a change to the handlebars to reflect a more casual bicycle and to reduce visual clutter. I also adjusted the arrangement so that the bicycles were aligned to the bottom, resting on the same horizontal axis.
I also established a color palette of blues for the logo.
For the typography, I took shapes from the bicycle to form the letters. These combined elements made up the final logo:
extending the brand
I first established a secondary color palette for the brand illustrations. They are bright and lively to convey optimism. I chose these colors with the subjects of the illustrations in mind—the green and bright blue can be used for grass and sky. The slate blue can be used for pavement. And the salmon can be used as an accent color.
I also created a cast of characters for the illustrations. The secondary colors were worked into their clothing and accessories to maintain consistency.
Above: this poster is to meant to convey the positivity and optimism of the Bicycle Alliance's mission with an appeal to bicyclists. It also demonstrates the potential for unity between drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Above: One of their future campaigns will be to 'fix the gaps' in bike infrastructure through high-traffic areas in order to form continuous routes for commuting.