Graphic designer and BMX rider and enthusiast Johann Chan approached Seb Lester to create the graphics for a bike frame he’s designed for bike company Emer Bicycles – the Emer Swift. Here are some photos of the frame and decals – and also some shots of the bike fully made up and ready to roll…
“It’s a 24inch cruiser with modern BMX geometry,” explains Chan of the bike frame’s design. “The geometry puts the rider in the same riding position as a modern BMX, but it runs large 24 inch, skinny wheels and high set gearing for a faster ride.”
Of the commission, Lester explains: “I was contacted earlier this year about designing the graphics for a new BMX frame, designed by Emer Bicycles. BMX was a big part of my life for the best part of ten years, and I still follow the scene, so I was really pleased to help out. Emer said they wanted a logo that conveyed speed and dynamic energy, as that’s what the bike is all about. It’s a very light and fast cruiser with 24” wheels and modern BMX geometry. It seemed like a strong idea to make the letters out of the swooping flight path of a Swift with the inline treatment accentuating movement as well. The lettering style developed is a very modern, cursive, flourished script. Emer wanted the logo to look strong and robust, like the frame, so it’s got a solidly constructed feel to it without looking clunky.
“The logo took shape quickly,” Lester continues. “I always start with very loose spontaneous pen and paper sketches as it’s the quickest way to get ideas down. Once roughs were approved (some of his sketches shown below) I went about drawing the vector outlines. I’m pleased with the results. Emer seem to be too – they’ve produced a small run of tshirts, screen printed with the logo in a metallic gold ink, which look excellent.”
Whilst Seb Lester’s lettering style might be recognisable to many readers of the CR blog, we’d imagine that hardly any of you know that Lester used to ride freestyle BMX back in the 80s. Chan interviews Lester about those glory days on the Emer Swift website – which includes a photo of Lester performing a bar ride (standing on the handlebars) during a 1989 flatland competition:
Says Lester in that interview: “In [both] my line of work and BMX you have to be highly focused and patient to progress. So to some extent I think I learnt about the rewards of single minded focus and hard work from BMX.”