August 10, 2007

Spoke Cards

I ride my bicycle every day: to work, to client meetings, back home, the grocery store, the bar, wherever. It's a large part of how I define myself—my own personal culture. I ride a messenger bike and I wear a messenger bag and I roll my jeans like messengers do. In spite of this, I am not part of the messenger community. Nevertheless, I enjoy observing this rapidly growing, always proud, and often arrogant group of cyclists in all their tight-pants glory.

One detail of messenger culture has always intrigued me; spoke cards. Used to identify competitors in alleycat races these cards are one of the few points where print design and messenger culture intersect. Here are some of the more artistic spoke cards I pulled off the web for your viewing pleasure.


EnergonCube said...

Hmmm. Interesting. I'll have to keep an eye open for these. Are the cards placed there by the bike owner(s) or are they part of a marketing/ PR campaign?

Studiostein said...

Spoke cards are placed there by the bicycle owners—like trophies. Think of it in the same way as a military official accumulates badges of rank, or a passport accumulates international stamps. They are objects of pride for the cyclist which makes the off-beat, often hand lettered cards all the more intriguing from a design standpoint.

atticus said...

yah - i think is a unique idea. I can see me marking places visited. Or trips w/o accidents. It reminds me of old baseball cards in the spokes. Except this is for another generation.

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