Stephen D. Ebert
Synopsis of design goals:
Tern Cycles builds touring machines that fit well and are fun to ride. The goal behind each custom bike is to make each ride, long or short, more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable for the rider. The Tern is a sea-faring bird, which has one of the largest migratory flight patterns known, traveling from the Gulf all the way to the Artic Circle. The client wanted to portray this road friendly nature, while still displaying a classic, well-polished, and motion-orientated image. The client also wanted to stay away from strong bird references and imagery. The mark needed to reference the inspiration behind the name but be solely bicycle focused. Visual inspiration provided by the client included prohibition era imagery, vintage liquor and beer labels, and an overall goal of mixing classic style with modern technology.
To meet those goals, I used a combination of typefaces; one classic and sleek, the other modern and geometric. In researching aspects of the Tern and it’s long flight pattern, their unique feathers stood out as prominent features. When reflected and stylized, the feathers added a nice sense of motion to the mark, which were later embellished by adding spokes and a classically styled banner. The color palette selected for the mark was chosen to appear earthy and organic, while still appearing bright and lively. These aspects were then incorporated into a set of deliverables requested by the client, including a head-tube badge and down-tube vinyl sticker. All printed matter for the client was designed to be minimal in its footprint–earth friendly inks were used for printing, the stock for all printed matter was on an untreated cardstock, and stamps were designed for marking letterhead, envelopes (an eco-friendly yellow), and business cards.