Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic – Technical Guide 2017

I was contacted late Sunday afternoon by Cycling Australia and asked if I could produce the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic Technical Guide for 2017.

Sure thing I said.

I stayed tuned for some emails which provided logos (mostly large jpg’s), last year’s guide and text. I did not possess the Univers typeface much of the document was written in.  To keep costs down, rather than spent $35 for each of the 3 fonts I lacked, the Helvetica group was used instead.

After a couple of phone calls to discuss the minor details, I got started.

The most time-consuming part was setting up the page template.  From last year’s guide I was able to extract the images relating to maps, mocka and signage.  A few 2016 dates needed changing to 2017.  It had been a while since I’d used InDesign, so it was good to take it for a spin.

The main page needed some logos changed and the footer on all pages needed a 2016 changed to a 2017.  Blanking out the old logos using a white box in Illustrator allowed me to hide them and add the new ones, rather than fiddle with layer extraction.  Importing last year’s pdf into Illustrator and creating an art board around the footer and changing the year allowed me to import that into the InDesign template I created.

InDesign did not like me when I did my high quality pdf export – lots of images at the wrong resolution and using RBG, not CMYK, however the final result does the job and the print out renders well.

I could have charged for the “late notice, rush job” though waived this fee and charged standard rates.  Why was this?  I was a little rusty so could not produce my best work (though one can argue that could be the case with all rush jobs).

The winning rider image from 2016, I grabbed from Rob Gunstone’s Twitter post from last year and advised the Cycling Australia to double-check that the use of the image was approved by the photographer.

Excluding some cleanup, the project took me 8 hours.

This is v1a of the #M2W17 Technical guide (there might have been slight changes between this and the distributed file).

2017 M2W TechGuide v1.2a

2017 M2W TechGuide v1.2a #M2W17.


Quick and nasty photomanip

Last weekend I attended a race where I had my coach take a photo of me from a low angle.  This gave me a photo that would be suitable for a “hero image”.

I cut myself and my bike out of the background with Photoshop’s pen tool, duplicated this layer several times, added a mask or two, changed some layers to black and white, changed the layer properties, levels and what not, whacked in a background image of some clouds, rendered some difference clouds for some quick and nasty lightning, adjusted the background colours to mirror those in my bike, blurred it a bit, flattened it then whacked it up here.

Cutting the background out took the longest.  I tend to make lots of little clicks, rather than using smooth curves when doing this, but I am tying to improve my workflow there to speed things up.

In other news, it’s crit season again so I am at races at times when I am not racing, but others are so I’m practicing my action photography.


New Warragul CC Kit Made – Eww

The previous posts regarding this continues here.

Seeing my new club’s cycling kit in reality does not improve my dislike of it. I am not sure what happened between the club being presented with the proofs, and the production run Champion System does not tend to screw up colours, so perhaps some last minute alterations were requested. The cyan that is meant to be present on the logos, the jersey and the shorts has been substituted for a darker blue, This acts to break the design, The blue on the chest is lost in the black as is the blue pinstripe down the front of the jersey. The shorts do no appear to match the top – here I think a blue element extending into the jersey would have fixed that. The orange also does not appear as vibrant as the once specified on the proofs…that could be due to the camera used to take the photo I have scribbled on below. Who knows, perhaps cyan for some strange reason is appearing dark blue due to the camera as well!


Critique of actual Warragul Cycling Club kit

Critique of actual Warragul Cycling Club kit



A freebee for my Cycling Club

In a month of so my cycling club is having a social event and the plan is to have a couple of photo booths there.  I agreed to come up with some artwork that would be 180x200cm in size approx.  One for the guys and one for the gals.  I’ll whack up the male version when that is done.

Lots of economizing on what I did here once the main character was drawn. Some copying, some flipping, some repositioning as well as use of some jersey designs I’d previously created.

So, here is the one for the gals.  I need to figure out where I can get this printed on the cheap now.

Baw Baw Cocktail Classic" Photobooth Art 1

“Baw Baw Cocktail Classic” Photobooth Art 1



Final Warragul Kit Revealed + some musings

Note to self, never submit a joke idea for a competition again. Read about my cycling club’s ‘design a new cycle kit’ competition here.

Rather than support a graphic designer who rides for the club and who has supported the club for the last 6 years by maintaining its website, it was decided to pay for the services of a graphic designer from elsewhere.  One of the reasons for this was that competitions would only produce “a bunch of template” designs.  Bah I say.  Using a template is not my style and I would also have provided my services for free (it was a competition).  So much being the winning (reduced to most popular in a straw poll) entry.  I was looking forward to wearing a kit I designed and leveraging off it.

Our President launched into a big spiel about the design elements and how each met the brief.  Standard fare for a designer in order to generate excitement.

So, here it is:

The "professional" design that the club outsourced

The “professional” design that the club outsourced

The orange is said to link to the current kit / club history.  There are lines falling at an angle on the right of the mountains to signify the sun.  The blue signifies the sky (not the blue in the old kit).  The white sides and orange bands are high visibility elements (the club has a thing about bright colours and visibility – que the basketball game and the gorilla suit).  The mountains represent how hilly Warragul is. (Eh?  Isn’t it in a valley?).  The pin stripes are there because the committee wanted some.  The swoosh on the chest logo can also be interpreted  as a road leading to the mountain.  On the back of the jersey there are more lines (white with a gradient fading to black) at an angle that supposedly ads a slimming effect.  There are also some low contrast downward overlapping triangles on the glute panel of the shorts.

Critique from me

First impression is I hate it. It may grow on me, but unless I get the promised free kit, I’ll be unlikely to adopt it.

The orange bands may be highly visible if you are expecting to see a cyclist on the road, but they are not slimming.  The black abdomen will bulge into the white sides, creating a blubberfying effect.  The mountains on the shorts look messy.  The angled lines on the rear of the jersey will be bowed out when the pockets are full.  Again, this will add to the visual volume rather than slimming the rider who is big boned.

UPDATE 08/05/2013: it cost the club $570 to get another designer to do the kit.  Now I have a figure to work with when I’m doing the same thing for clients.


My biggest fear was that the design would bear a resemblance to one of my submissions and the designer would be plugging it as his work (that would have been a shit storm).

See my submissions below.

Option 1 of the original submission

Option 1 of the original submission

Joke Kit "the winner"

Joke Kit “the winner”

In the end, about the only thing retained from my submissions is the text logo element and at a stretch, the pin striping.

I will admit my first attempts at cycle clothing were pretty ho hum, but I think my recent goes have been successful.  At any rate, I have ended up designing a couple of kits I will be wearing so I can say I designed them myself.  I paid Cycling Victoria $50 and sponsored myself so I can wear my “corporate kit” whenever I choose.  The registered design is a bit plain, but the whole point was to get my design company’s name across, and it achieves that.

If I continue with the blue kit, I’ll reduce the logos by around 80% so the edges are not lost by creases or the curve of the body.

Corporate Kit

Corporate Kit

For the 2014 season, assuming I have money (finances are getting really tight around here, what with my bike porn addiction and everything), I’ll register the more colorful kit.  I may get a kit made up a bit sooner if I get a “real job” back in science as so far, many job application but no takers.

High Vis Cycle Kit

High Vis Cycle Kit