Valerie Damen
bike3.png

Bike Font

Client: FriesenPress
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Type Design, Publication Design

 

I strategically constructed the letters within the word ‘bike,’ out of bicycle parts — each letter focusing on a different portion.

 

Bike Font

Client: FriesenPress
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Type Design, Publication Design

Overview

While working as a publication designer for FriesenPress, I was assigned with the task of designing cover artwork for the book, Bike with your Dog.

Challenges

I faced one main challenge during the production of this project:

1. Forming a creative and unique concept under an extremely tight timeline.

Solution

More often than not, I would be provided photos by authors to use for their book cover image and more often than not those images would be too low res to completely fill a 6" x 9" surface area. Since this sort of situation became such a regular occurrence, I became extremely efficient at thinking on the fly and coming up with creative alternatives that would still make the author happy and at the same time follow all the essential publishing guidelines and rules. The book, Bike with your Dog, was exactly one of these moments. The author, Leslie, supplied me with an adorable photo of her and her dog biking together, but when I imported the picture into photoshop to assess the image's resolution, the photo ended up being extremely small and unusable to fill the entire cover as the author had requested. With this knowledge at hand, I followed up with the author and asked if she had the original image, but unfortunately, that was the only copy she had. At this point in the process, I told the author that we needed to reapproach the book cover's direction. Out of ideas, Leslie decided to leave the cover's conceptual development in my capable hands — her only request was to keep the cover simple and clean (she didn't want the cover to be too busy).

With a completely blank slate to work with and a very pressing deadline ahead of me, I had to think smart and I had to think fast. I held a very brief brainstorm session between me, my pen, and notebook, and landed on the idea of developing a black and white typographic cover. As soon as I made this decision, I instantly began visualizing a font developed out of bike parts. Fixated on this concept, I searched the web for bike fonts and to my surprise, I didn't find anything that matched my vision, so I switched gears and made the decision to create my own font. I strategically constructed the letters within the word 'bike,' out of bicycle parts — each letter focused on a different portion. The conceptual direction that I lead the book in was a bit of a risk (there was a good chance that the author may not like it), but my fallback plan if she didn't like it, was that I could always develop the same cover, only without the custom bike font. Thankfully Leslie ended up loving the cover. She was blown away by how much consideration and thought I put into her book and in the end, Leslie viewed her photo setback as a blessing in disguise — she ended up loving the new direction even more.

Production

The bike font was the face of Leslie's self-published FriesenPress book and was also branded on printed materials such as postcards, posters, and bookmarks.