Friday, February 1, 2008

Sharing the Road--Portland's Bicycle Community

Portland is a town run by the bicycle. Relatively flat terrain, streets that run along a grid as well as a green mentality allow Portland to be the city with the most bicycle commuters.

Last night I watched Foreign Correspondent, a very old Alfred Hitchcock movie featuring Amsterdam. Bicycles dictated traffic and seemed to be the primary mode of transportation along the cobbled Dutch streets.

Bicycles still rule the streets of Amsterdam, but like Portland, they no longer dictate traffic as SUVs now rule the road. And while much of Amsterdam looks as it did through Hitchcock's lens in 1940, the bicycle is not quite as prominent.

Although the city of Portland protects cyclists through legislation, accidents occur. Every year Portland's bicycle community puts on a concert and bike ride to promote bike safety and celebrate the lives of those who were lost to bicycle accidents. The benefit is called "Share the Road."

The benefit is a consortium of local bands. I illustrated this concert poster using as my inspiration a picture I had taken of my sister riding her bicycle through the Dutch countryside. (This was our first international trip together and we had a grand time, despite our ridiculous matching backpacks.)

Each font is hand-wrought and from my own unique alphabets. Along with calligraphy, designing alphabets is my favorite aspect of my profession. A well drawn font can articulate a specific theme, era, and mood whilst drawing proper attention to the message at large. However, the font style must also match the illustration to allow for a well executed event poster.

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Emma said...

AH! I am so excited! I love your illustrations! My husband and I are swing dance instructors and what I wouldn't give to have you do the illustrations for our event advertising!! We teach a lot of the dances from the deco period and your artwork would be perfect! I'm bookmarking your blog! Fantastic!

Genxster said...

Thanks for stopping by and checking me out. You kind words mean a lot.

Foreign Correspondent is a great movie. I love that scene when Joel McCrea is hiding in the windmill. Won't spoil it for anyone reading your comments. Isn't that the movie where he tells the leading lady, "If you knew how much I love you, you'd faint." He's such a deadpan actor, but I still find him charming in this film.