“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Bikes have helped shape my life in many ways, and I’m proud of it. They have been a tool, a vehicle, a healthy hobby, a stress-reliever, a challenge, and a thrill. They have helped me with mechanical problem solving—I was a bike mechanic for a few years at my local shop—as well as design problem solving. Perhaps most importantly, for me, bikes were a creative outlet (BMX Flatland Freestyle). This sport truly solidified the importance of bicycles in my life and left me with some solid ground rules I still live by, such as:
- Practice makes perfect
- Nothing comes easy
- Don’t give up
- It’s all in the details
- Surprise yourself—and others!
It wasn’t until 2023 that I fulfilled one of my dreams and worked to revitalize a bicycle brand. I was hired as a Brand Designer at HLC, North America’s largest and most reputable bicycle/bicycle parts distribution company.
Evo® was one of many brands I worked on. Starting in early April 2023 and over the next six months, I completed a major brand overhaul with input from an awesome PLB team.
Design & Development
Alignment, Balance, Colour theory, Contrast, Emphasis, Grids, Hierarchy, Negative space, Page layout, Pattern, Proximity, Repetition, Rhythm, Rule of thirds, Typography, White space
Brand development, Digital design, Email design, Logo design, Print design, UI+UX design, Web design
The existing Evo brand and packaging was tired and outdated. Problems included: a wordmark that felt unfinished and difficult to produce at small scales; the dark, detractive packaging colour scheme; the glossy packaging finish and outdated typefaces adding a cheap feel to the packaging/product; an icon system that was not intuitive or helpful to beginner/intermediate cyclists.
1) Research. Start with the Packaging
Parts and accessories are the bread and butter for Evo and a great brand experience often begins with packaging. I visited dozens of local bike shops, from independant stores to larger chains in order to see Evo’s product range, placement, and visibility issues first-hand. The existing dark navy packaging disappeared against the common dark shelving and black slat wall displays.
2) Define User Needs
Consumer behaviour and sales feedback acquired over time was crucial in solving these challenges. The updated branding and packaging needed to promote the high quality product while maintaining an approachable, almost educational experience. Consumers need only the essential info when picking parts... a no frills approach.
Through a series of design drafts, critiques, and online meetings, the information architecture for the new packaging began to evolve. Brainstorming occurred at all levels of our team. Strategic decision-making led to insightful action items that brought true value to the redesign project.
Once the direction was clear, I began to fine-tune the new packaging concept, and with buy-in from upper management, it was all systems go!
Rebranding & Packaging Overhaul
I modernized and made the logo more approachable by filling in some negative spaces, rounding off sharper edges and giving the logo balance while keeping a similar shape/footprint.
Packaging was brightened by using a light grey recycled/unfinished paper board as the substrate, (which also has satisfying tactile benefits). It helps to portray eco-friendliness and also tones down the vibrant green. I eliminated the script fonts and icons seen on the previous packaging and adopted a single legible typeface for everything.
I developed an eye-catching family of circular icons to call out features and benefits, and developed a usage graph/suitability chart for products with multiple end uses.
With these new design standards in place, all Evo products were elevated to a more premium look while maintaining its approachable, meaningful ethos.
Bicycle Colorways and Graphics
I led the design of the complete line of 2024 Evo bike colours and graphics. Decal size and placement was crucial, as the manufacturing process and physical bike frames have many constraints, such as: tube profiles, weld proximity, placement of parts and accessories, etc.
I must have done a dozen colorways for each size of bike, from kids bikes all the way up to top-of-the-line adult bikes and ebikes. These were gradually distilled to 3-4 colorways per frame size.
I also developed custom wordmarks and graphics seen on the bikes which helped to group riding styles into different families.
Although the 20- 24-inch kids bikes had complex colorways, they remained within budget. The entire line of bikes had an excellent vendor booking with great excitement from the sales team.
Along with the new branding and packaging, I was also tasked with creating sales and marketing materials. This involved creating new materials, as well as updating older materials.
Printed sales materials included multi-lingual catalogues, sell sheets, brochures, flyers, instructions, POP displays, etc.
I also hand-coded an HTML email template to be used with Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc.