Slums of Nairobi


The Velo Kingdom is a local business here in town that most people have probably never heard of. They make custom, handmade bicycles, which is a bit of a niche market if you think about it. But the quality of their work is top notch, and every bike that comes out of their shop is a rolling work of art. The first project that came my way was incredibly unique—I got asked to design a custom pedal. I immediately said yes because, in all honesty, how often will you get to do something like this?

The owner of the bike they were customizing had the initials B.R. So we came up with a design that had the owners initials, the original Velo Kingdom logo, and some light flourishes to give it a classic look.
Pedal DesignFinished Product

The manufacturing process involved required some design changes, but the end result was pretty close to the finished design.

The Saga Continues

PeugeotThe pedal design taught us that we worked well together, and the guys from the Kingdom started coming more frequently for more design assistance. Another custom bike required some careful calligraphy work for a Peugeot they were building. The design was hand drawn, and then converted into vector art in Adobe Illustrator. The design was sent to the vinyl cutter where it was used to create a mask for the two color painting process. The end result looked pretty great, and I recommend checking out some of the work on the Velo Kingdom’s Facebook page.

Calligraphy isn’t something I do a lot of, but the old world style goes well with the Kingdom’s classic designs and plays well off of the feudal days that their company takes its name from. I’ve done quite a bit of calligraphy work for these guys over the years, including the redesign of their logo.

Logo Design

The Velo KingdomThe guys at Velo Kingdom came to me with a new idea in mind. They were recreating classic bicycles, and thought that they could use a new classical logo to go along with it. The new logo required two things: it had to have a “classic bicycle” look to it, and it would have to be designed in a way that could be engraved into aluminum for a new head badge.

The head badge had to be clean, classic, simple enough to recreate in print, but also be translated into manufacturing. I teamed up with Joe, the guy who cut the pedals, and got a lot of information from him about how to best go about that. The final design (left) has that classic shape, and looks fine two-dimensionally. Translating it into three-dimensions took a lot more work. Everything that is black gets engraved into the metal and painted with enamel, the remaining parts (in white) are polished. After that, the whole thing is placed into a press where it is formed into a round tube shape to be installed on the front tube of the bicycle. The whole thing is pretty awesome to watch!

Website Design

The website design is still a work in progress, but far enough along for me to post some updates over here. I wanted the design to reflect that same classic look and feel that the company embodies. I used earth tones throughout the site, with a very prominent feature image on each page. The gallery is simple, but blends well with the look of the site. I’ll update this page as we get further along into the project, but here’s a sneak peak of what we’ve been working on.

Web PreviewWebsite Preview

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