Here are some more images I did for things related to the Los Angeles Bike Summit which took place on Saturday March 7th, which I did a whole lot of coordination work for, and which I enjoyed greatly. Ideally I probably should have done these and posted them here in advance of the summit – so they would generate interest… but I didn’t finish them until a day or two before the summit, so it was all I could do to get them copied and into the hands of summit attendees.
Above is one side of the spoke card we gave out to attendees. I did the hand lettering, and the other side features two drawings by Shawn Granton. Shawn resides in Portland Oregon and was in town for the summit. I had the pleasure of hanging out with him while he stayed at my place. He does lots of great bike illustrations, with plenty of hand lettering. Also does bike touring then self-publishes comic journals about them – and gave me a bunch that I’ve been reading since. A kindred soul.
Below is the master for the spoke cards. As I don’t really do artwork on a computer (unless you count scanning stuff for this blog – and even that I am not all that good at) so you can see that the bottom left panel is the actual hand-lettering and the rest of the photocopied images are glued onto the page. Low tech, and sometimes you see lines that you probably shouldn’t, but it’s something I’ve done for many years, and I know how scissors and glue work pretty well. Someday I will really learn photoshop or illustrator or GIMP…
Spoke cards are in a bit labor-intensive. They are roughly playing-card-sized two-sided images that are laminated. They fit in the spokes best if there’s a margin of laminated plastic about 1/8-1/4 inch sticking out… so you pretty much have to do them all by hand. Generally, you end up cutting the paper by hand, then cutting the laminated cards by hand again. They end up all slightly irregularly-sized… which I like. (Thanks to Joe Krovoza, my old Occidental College roommate, who came down from Davis for the summit – and was immediately put to work cutting spoke cards!)
For the Root Down Ride Around ride Friday night (which I already blogged a bit about) Kelly Martin actually got a printer to laminate and trim the cards, so they were all alike. They even had rounded edges like actual playing cards.
The ride was fun – tracing various sites where various facets of L.A. bike culture got started – from RIDE-Arc to Bicycle Kitchen to Midnight Ridazz. Hearing some of the instigators speak each time. It did get kinda long though…
For the ride I did this route map (perhaps it’s a root map?) below. I initially used tracing paper over a map to get a sense for the overall shape. I then red-drew it freehand to squeeze it into an 8.5″x14″ sized page. I like the way the waving woman on the left turned out. (Note the spoke cards in her front wheel.)
I also helped lead a ride called “The City Beautiful” that focused on the historic bridges over the LA River. The bridges, built mostly in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s were part of the City Beautiful movement, which aimed to build heroic civic architecture to uplift the squalid lives of city-dwellers. I am a big fan of these bridges and have written about them in my book Down by the Los Angeles River: Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Official Guide. I also occasionally write about them at the L.A. Creek Freak blog.
The flier design is based on the 1931 Gothic-revival 4th Street Bridge. Though the proportions are slightly off, I like the way the bridge illustration turned out – pretty loose and splattery! I did it initially in pencil, then inked it using a quill pen dipped in India Ink. The lettering was a bit of a dilemma. Ideally it should have been formal lettering from that historic time… but, due to lack of time and skill, I opted to just keep it really simple and sparse. I think it contrasts well with the drawing.
Here’s the original artwork. It’s hardly so different that I should show both… but it gives you some sense of the low-tech way that I work… which maybe a few of you have some slight interest in.
Below is a flier for the party that Los Angeles Eco-Village (where I live) hosted that night. In recent years, this flier format is more-or-less my rush-flier default. Drop in hand lettering around a pertinent image that I’ve swiped from somewhere else. The image is a street crowded with bicyclists in an Asian city – taken from an old National Geographic magazine. I keep a manila folder where I stash bike images.
My very favorite thing about this unremarkable flier is the way I combined the two m’s in Summit at the top!
And, for both of you readers that get this far, here’s the original artwork, which if nothing else gives you a better sense of the photo I used:
And, lastly, dear longsuffering reader, here’s some Bike Summit marginalia… someday I will do a post with more examples of this. Suffice it to say that I am vain enough to keep a lot of these sorts of doodles I do around the edges of pages where I take notes.
That’s all for this year’s summit!