The subject I have chosen to investigate is Fixed Gear Bicycles. I have decided to research this theme because of my newly found interest in the design, build and culture of these traditional bikes. Since moving into Leeds I have seen so many variations of this kind of bicycle and slowly but surely grown a passion to understand every aspect of them, have one, build my own, and in general, develop a healthy interest in something that isn't graphic design.
A fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, commonly known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism. The freewheel was developed early in the history of bicycle design but the fixed-gear bicycle remained the standard track racing design. More recently the "fixie" has become a popular alternative among mainly urban cyclists, offering the advantages of simplicity compared with the standard multi-geared bicycle.
Most bicycles incorporate a freewheel to allow the pedals to remain stationary while the bicycle is in motion, so that the rider can coast, i.e., ride without pedalling using the forward or downhill energy of the bike and rider. A fixed-gear drivetrain has the drive sprocket (or cog) threaded or bolted directly to the hub of the back wheel, so that the rider cannot stop pedalling. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction. This allows a cyclist to apply a braking force with the legs and bodyweight, by resisting the rotation of the cranks. It also makes it possible to ride backwards although learning to do so is much more difficult than riding forward.
As a general rule, fixed-gear bicycles are single-speed. A derailleur cannot be fitted because the chain cannot have any slack, but hub gearing can, for example a Sturmey-Archer fixed-gear 3-speed hub, in which case is a fixed-gear multi-speed arrangement. Most fixed-gear bicycles only have a front brake, and some have no brakes at all.
The track bicycle is a form of fixed-gear bicycle used for track cycling in a velodrome. But since a fixed-gear bicycle is just a bicycle without a freewheel, a fixed-gear bicycle can be almost any type of bicycle.
In urban North America and similar areas in other English-speaking cities, fixed-gear bicycles have achieved significant popularity, with the rise of discernible regional aesthetic preferences for finish and design details.Some road racing and club cyclists used a fixed-gear bicycle for training during the winter months, generally using a relatively low gear ratio, believed to help develop a good pedalling style.
In the UK until the 1950s it was common for riders to use fixed-gear bicycles for time trials. The 1959 British 25 mile time trial championship was won by Alf Engers with a competition record of 55 minutes 11 seconds, riding an 84 inch fixed-gear bicycle.The fixed-gear was also commonly used, and continues to be used in the end of season hill climb races in the autumn. A typical club men's fixed-gear machine would have been a "road/path" or "road/track" cycle. In the era when most riders only had one cycle, the same bike when stripped down and fitted with racing wheels was used for road time trials and track racing, and when fitted with mudguards (fenders) and a bag, it was used for club runs, touring and winter training.By the 1960s, multi-gear derailleurs had become the norm and riding fixed-gear on the road declined over the next few decades. Recentyears have seen renewed interest and increased popularity of fixed-gear cycling.
Dedicated fixed-gear road bicycles are being produced in greater numbers by established bicycle manufacturers. They are generally low in price and characterized by relaxed road geometry, as opposed to the steep geometry of track bicycles.
Fixed-gear bicycles are also used in cycle ball, bike polo and artistic cycling. Bike messengers frequently use fixies due to their durability, low maintenance, simplicity and ease.
A fixed-gear bicycle is particularly well suited for track stands, a manoeuvre in which the bicycle can be held stationary, balanced upright with the rider's feet on the pedals.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
One of the perceived main attractions of a fixed gear bicycle is low weight. Without the added parts required for a fully geared drive train—derailleurs, shifters, cables, cable carriers, multiple chain rings, freewheel hub, brazed-on mounting lugs—a fixed gear bicycle weighs less than its geared equivalent. The chain itself is subject to less sideways force and will not wear out as fast as on a derailleur system. Also, a fixed gear drivetrain is more mechanically efficient than any other bicycle drivetrain, with the most direct power transfer from rider to the wheels. Thus, a fixed gear requires less energy in any given gear to move than a geared bike in the same gear.
In slippery conditions some riders prefer to ride fixed because they believe the transmission provides increased feedback on back tire grip. However, there is also an increased risk of loss of control in such conditions. Especially when taking into account the large number of riders who ride brakeless, which entails the rider to braking by stopping the motion of the pedals in mid-rotation, causing the rear wheel to lock in place, allowing the bicycle to skid and slow down from kinetic friction.
Descending any significant gradient is more difficult as the rider must spin the cranks at high speed (sometimes at 170 rpm or more), or use the brakes to slow down. Some consider that the enforced fast spin when descending increases suppleness or flexibility, which is said to improve pedalling performance on any type of bicycle; however the performance boost is negligible compared to the benefits of riding a free wheel.
Riding fixed is considered by some to encourage a more effective pedaling style, which it is claimed translates into greater efficiency and power when used on a bicycle fitted with a freewheel. It allows for the rider to engage in and practice proper cadence, which is the balanced and rhythmic flow of pedaling, enhancing performance for both cyclist and bicycle.
When first riding a fixed gear, a cyclist used to a freewheel may try to freewheel, or coast, particularly when approaching corners or obstacles. Since coasting is not possible this can lead to a "kick" to the trailing leg, and even to loss of control of the bicycle. Riding at high speed around corners can be difficult on a fixed-gear bicycle, as the pedals can strike the road, resulting in loss of control.
There are many forms of competition using a fixed gear bike, most of the competitions being track races. Bike messengers and other urban riders may ride fixed gear bicycles in alleycat races, including New York City's famous fixed-gear-only race Monstertrack alley cat and Leeds own LSF races.
There are also events based on messenger racing, such as Mixpression, which has been held nine times in Tokyo. Trick demonstrations have been held since the late 1800s in the US and Europe;while they continued into a competitive form in Europe (Artistic Cycling), subsequent to the recent widespread popularity and advancement of fixed gear bikes, trick competitions have also now established themselves at venues in the US and Asia. European competitions include solo and team balletic movements on a controlled, flat surface; US and Asian competitions often include "park" and "flatland" styles and venues, a la BMX. Other competitions include games of "foot down" and bike polo.
In 2006, Adventures for the Cure made a documentary film on riding across the United States on fixed gears; they repeated this feat as a 4-man team at the 2008 Race Across America.
Fixed gear riders sharing the specific philosophy are also seen at the Single Speed World Championships.
Here I have attached a video of The North Race Halleycat, an alley-cat race held in Leeds on Halloween where the competitors have to dress in black and paint skulls on their faces (You may spot our very own digital print specialist James who is a very active member of the Leeds Fixed Gear community, LSF.)
Maintaining a fixed gear is relatively easy because it has fewer parts than a geared bicycle. The sprocket should be checked regularly to make sure there is no damage to any teeth and that no object is grinding it as it turns with the rear wheel. The chainring should be checked similarly for any damage. There is an advantage to selecting a number of chainring teeth that is not a round multiple of the number of sprocket teeth (e.g. 3) because this avoids coincidence of the same chainring and sprocket teeth, and tyre contact patch, on each of the rider's power strokes. For riders who perform brakeless skid-stops, it is best to select prime-numbered chainrings (e.g. 41, 43 or 47 teeth) to guarantee that rear tyre wear is spread evenly.
It is imperative (for road riding, at least) that the chain is sufficiently tight that it is impossible for it to derail from either the chainring or sprocket. This generally equates to "no visible slack". A derailed chain can cause a variety of undesirable consequences, such as a locked rear wheel or, worst of all, destruction of the frame if the chain becomes caught around the crank arm and pulls the rear triangle forwards. On a fixed-gear bicycle without hand brakes, even a relatively benign derailment means a total loss of braking ability. Tensioning aside, a chain is significantly less likely to derail if the chainline is accurate and the chain is a traditional "full bushing" type with limited lateral flexibility. Because the difference between a tight and a slack chain equates to only very minor elongation of the links, chain tension should be visually checked at least weekly, especially if the bicycle is ridden in wet or dirty conditions.
As with any other bicycle, the chain should be checked making sure the master link is securely latched. The chain can be lubricated monthly for smooth riding.Also, as needed, the brakes should be tightened as they wear and tire condition observed for possible puncture locations. Air pressure in the tires, tire alignment, brake handle placement, and rust should be monitored on a daily basis because they can change very easily during a jarring ride.
[All above from wikipedia and cross-referenced with own knowledge/other sources to make sure of it's truth] My own first hand experience of fixed gear cycling is novice, however I aim to improve that drastically throughout this brief. On 24/09/2013 I bought my first fixed gear bicycle for £120.00
This is a Peugeot Tour 10 frame with modifications including a Kona Wheel-set and Truvativ Isoflow Crankset, the rest of the build was unknown. Being my first bike I got overly excited and wanted to improve/customise it further to my own wants. The first thing I wanted to change was he handlebars as they were very wide and not very suitable for riding in Leeds traffic. The way the headset worked on this bike meant I needed to change the stem if I wanted any modern handlebars, for this reason I bought a quill stem adaptor, a new A-head stem and then the new handlebars which were Profile Airwing OS handlebars.
The next thing I needed to change was the tires as the ones that were already installed had worn away quite a lot. After some research I discovered the best back tire would be a Gator-hardshell as they are more durable and would allow me to skid stop without screwing up the tire too much. And the front tyre would be a Grand Prix 4000s because of it's handling advantages.
First thing I wanted to do was find out the font information for the current branding of Purdey's.
What Font Is told me that the 'Purdey's' font is Futura Medium Condensed.
That the 'Rejuvinate' font is Gill Sans.
And that 'Multivitamin Fruit Drink' font is Sweet Sans Pro Medium.
I looked at other designs of coated bottles to have an idea of what others were doing.
At the same time as this I thought I'd have a look at other health drinks packaging to inspect materials, print methods, wraps and caps too.
The first one I uploaded, AM + PM drinks have been coated in the way I was thinking about.
I realised afterwards that the material in which a drink is packaged affects the perceived taste, i wanted to make sure of this by reading around. I found the answer in the coca cola website as it was a FAQ on their page, they say even though the manufacturing process is identical, it does seem to taste different from different packaging. As Purdey's has always been in glass, it would be silly to change the material so this was changed back from plastic.
One thing I noticed about all of the above health drinks is how colourful they are, this definitely provokes a sense of health and revitalised feelings. The colour must be the predominant surface area of the packaging.
Bottle shapes are a very important aspect of the design so I thought I'd look at some interesting bottles and decide whether they would attract me or put me off.
The shapes of the beer and milk bottles fascinated me most. I pictured one being used for a generic drink and it would be out of the ordinary and appealing to someone looking for something different, which, in affect is everyone.
To provoke you into thinking about design, rather than just 'doing it'.
To encourage you to pursue issues in more depth.
To form your own conclusions independently of practitioners and academics.
To experiment with ideas to see if they work in practice.
Political, Economic, Social, Technological.
All component parts of the project engaging in one complex, dynamic process.
The realisation of theory in, and through, practice.
The purpose of theoretical discipline is the pursuit of truth through contemplation; its telos is the attainment of knowledge for its own sake. The purpose of the productive sciences is to make something; their telos is the production of some artefact. The practical disciplines are those sciences which deal with ethical and political life; their telos is practical wisdom and knowledge. (Cass & Kemmis 1986: 32)
'Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it'
Marx, Theses on Feurbach.
Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory.
Having developed the model over many years prior, David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984. The model gave rise to related terms such as Kolb's experiential learning theory (ELT), and Kolb's learning styles inventory (LSI). In his publications - notably his 1984 book 'Experiential Learning: Experience As The Source Of Learning And Development' Kolb acknowledges the early work on experiential learning by others in the 1900's, including Rogers, Jung, and Piaget. In turn, Kolb's learning styles model and experiential learning theory are today acknowledged by academics, teachers, managers and trainers as truly seminal works; fundamental concepts towards our understanding and explaining human learning behaviour, and towards helping others to learn. See also Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and VAK learnings styles models, which assist in understanding and using Kolb's learning styles concepts.
Practitioners are right to worry that academic study of what is essentially a hands-on subject removes it from the reality of practice.
Designers often work intuitively, without knowingly applying theory. This module aims to get you to reflect on that process.
To get a feel of what I needed to take into consideration I had a look at other museum websites.
They each had very similar content in regards to navigation and pages. These tended to consist of a What's on page, a page on the current exhibition/s, a page helping users to get there, a shop page, and very generic stuff you would expect.
After having my tutorial with Richard on what my main Context of Practice essay/practical would be, I came to a very solid idea which I saw a lot of potential in considering my new found interest in the effects of consumerism and how it is perceived.
Focus on the key critical text. Needs a question. Critique of the 'First Thing's First' manifesto. Update this for 2014. Essay:
Focus on triangulation of 'First Thing's First 2000' manifesto. Bring in theories criticising consumerism. Find a focus (theme, commodity, market). To what extent is the 'First Thing's First 2000' manifesto relevant to modern graphic design? 'How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul.' - Adrian Shaughnessy. Practical:
Guide book for the modern designer? First Things First manifesto improved 2014.
First Things First - 1964
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, photographers and students who have been brought up in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable means of using our talents. We have been bombarded with publications devoted to this belief, applauding the work of those who have flogged their skill and imagination to sell such things as: cat food, stomach powders, detergent, hair restorer, striped toothpaste, aftershave lotion, beforeshave lotion, slimming diets, fattening diets, deodorants, fizzy water, cigarettes, roll-ons, pull-ons and slip-ons.
By far the greatest effort of those working in the advertising industry are wasted on these trivial purposes, which contribute little or nothing to our national prosperity.
In common with an increasing number of the general public, we have reached a saturation point at which the high pitched scream of consumer selling is no more than sheer noise. We think that there are other things more worth using our skill and experience on. There are signs for streets and buildings, books and periodicals, catalogues, instructional manuals, industrial photography, educational aids, films, television features, scientific and industrial publications and all the other media through which we promote our trade, our education, our culture and our greater awareness of the world.
We do not advocate the abolition of high pressure consumer advertising: this is not feasible. Nor do we want to take any of the fun out of life. But we are proposing a reversal of priorities in favour of the more useful and more lasting forms of communication. We hope that our society will tire of gimmick merchants, status salesmen and hidden persuaders, and that the prior call on our skills will be for worthwhile purposes. With this in mind we propose to share our experience and opinions, and to make them available to colleagues, students and others who may be interested.
First Things First - 2000
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.
Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession’s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.
Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse.
There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programmes, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.
We propose a reversal of priorities in favour of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.
In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.
These books were out of the library by the time I got there and so I ordered them off amazon. Over the Christmas holidays, these did not turn up and I struggled to get my money back. When I got back to university I went back to the library and took out the ones they had and then re-ordered the ones they didn't as well as picking up other relevant books.
'How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul.' - Adrian Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy A (2005) How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul, Laurence King Publishing, page 27: "Peter Saville told the Times of London (15 September, 2004): 'The trouble with graphic design today is: when can you believe it? It's not the message of the designer anymore. Every applied artist ends up selling his or her soul at some point. I haven't done it and look at me. People call me one of the most famous designers in the world and I haven't got any money.'" (Shaughnessy, A (2005) : p 27)
'The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy.' - Michael Foley.
Foley M (2011) The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy, Simon & Schuster, page 8: "So the absurdity of happiness is that it is embarrassing to discuss or even mention, impossible to define or measure, may not be achievable at all - or, at best, only intermittently and unconsciously - and may even turn into its opposite if directly pursued, but that it frequently turns up unexpectedly in the course of pursuing something else. There is no tease more infuriating." (Foley, M (2011) : p 8) Foley M (2011) The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy, Simon & Schuster, page 9: "One of capitalism's most successful confidence tricks is its promotion of the illusion that anyone can make millions. But there is room at the top for only a few and few have the aptitude to claim a place." (Foley, M (2011) : p 9)
'Do Good Design: How Design Can Change Our World: How Visual Communicators Can Save the World.' - David B. Berman.
Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 49: "'Designers: Don't work for companies that want you to lie for them.' Tibor Kalman (1949-1999)" (Berman D (2009) : p 49) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 51: "We know that 60 percent of consumers prefer the comfort and security of a national brand over a no-name product or service, and that preference extends to all products sold under that brand. Try on the example of Nike baseball caps. Nike made it's reputation by delivering quality shoes, and built a customer base who trusted its brand. So when Nike chooses to sell baseball caps, the same group of loyal customers is ready to consume such hats because they believe that Nike would only make great products. Then Nike adds a huge Nike logo on the front of the cap. Now consumers have another reason to buy the product: they can publicly proclaim their membership in the Nike club and align themselves with a reputation of quality and style. Thus a $4 hat becomes a $19.95 hat (plus a free walking billboard for Nike) even though Nike is not an innovator in the hat-making industry." (Berman D (2009) : p 51) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 61: "Adbusters magazine founder Kalle Lasn claims that most North Americans can only identify 10 plants, yet can recognise 1000 corporate brands. [...] The average American encounters over 3000 promotional visual messages each day (up from 560 in 1971)." (Berman D (2009) : p 61) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 61: "'What is wrong is a style of life which is presented to be better, when it is directed towards having rather than being.' Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)" (Berman D (2009) : p 61) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 61: "To paraphrase Steve Mann, the eye is the largest bandwidth pipe into the human brain, and graphic designers spend their days designing what goes in. When you leverage such power in order to deceive people, then those cleverly crafted messages and images become lies. We have a responsibility to not exploit this power." (Berman D (2009) : p 61) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 64: "Marketers often seek ways of engaging their audiences on a deeply subconscious level, by linking invented images with trusted reference points in their audience's memories." (Berman D (2009) : p 64) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 89: "'Contempt for the intelligence of the audience engenders graphics that lie... graphic excellence begins with telling the truth.' Edward R. Tufte" (Berman D (2009) : p 89) Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 92: "Advertisers take advantage of weaknesses in our psyche to convince us of false needs that can be satisfied by buying things. Good design should be about what's good about the product, not what is "bad" or vulnerable in the buyer." (Berman D (2009) : p 92). Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 125: "Good Design is a strategic, sustainable, ethical response to a business problem." (Berman D (2009) : p 125). Berman D (2009) Do Good Design, New Riders Publishing, page 127: "'Design creates culture. Culture creates values. Values determine the future. Design is therefore responsible for the world are children will live in.' Robert L. Peters" (Berman D (2009) : p 127).
'Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion' - Anthony Pratkanis & Elliot Aronson.
Pratkanis A, Aronson E (2004) Age of propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion, Henry Holt Books, page 28: "First, investigators have found that the mass media can produce many subtle, or "indirect", effects - in other words, the mass media may not tell you what to think, but they do tell you what to think about and how to do it." (Pratkanis A & Aronson E (2004) : p 28).
Pratkanis A, Aronson E (2004) Age of propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion, Henry Holt Books, page 30: "Clearly, then, the mass media do affect some of our most fundamental beliefs and opinions and can even lead us to purchase an advertised brand of product or to support the destruction of other human beings." (Pratkanis A & Aronson E (2004) : p 30).
Pratkanis A, Aronson E (2004) Age of propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion, Henry Holt Books, page 31: "Sometimes a message can be persuasive even if its arguments are not fully understood or comprehended." (Pratkanis A & Aronson E (2004) : p 31).
Pratkanis A, Aronson E (2004) Age of propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion, Henry Holt Books, page 31: "The successful persuasion tactic is one that directs and channels thoughts so that the target thinks in a manner agreeable to the communicator's point of view; the successful tactic disrupts any negative thoughts and promotes positive thoughts about the proposed course of action." (Pratkanis A & Aronson E (2004) : p 31).
Pratkanis A, Aronson E (2004) Age of propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion, Henry Holt Books, page 330: "Perhaps the saddest demonstrations of the influence of advertising comes from an experiment which found that four and five year old children, after watching an ad for a toy, were twice as likely to say that they would rather play with a "not so nice boy" with the toy than a "nice boy" without the toy." (Pratkanis A & Aronson E (2004) : p 330).
I believe that the ethics behind the First Things First manifesto are both interesting and have made an impact on my view of graphic design but I see it as too extreme to take 100% literally. In this day and age, could someone live off of working in graphic design whilst abiding the manifesto? probably not, if so, certainly not comfortably unless they had a lot of money behind them in the first place. I want to correct this, maybe there is a way of putting this information across in a less extreme context and would create more of an impact in the design community. I have ideas such as re-creating the First Things First manifesto for 2014 but taking the unavoidable consumerist lifestyle into account and rather than turning away any clientele associated in business, being sure that they understand that you will only design to sell the product, not the false values and lifestyles they convey. This would increase popularity in the idea of honest advertising which people can make a personal decision on rather than being brainwashed into buying things to get to a place in life they will never have the opportunity to reach. This would lead to a more approachable form of advertising which people would listen to where they are simply saying "we have this product that does this, you should try it, it's good" rather than "if you have this product you will get a model girlfriend and everything in life will be perfect". My plan is to analyse the First Things First Manifesto 2000 and research into consumerism to then back up my findings with several sources in the form of triangulation and work out the manifesto's strengths and weaknesses in the modern design world and from there correct the manifesto based on the knowledge I have gathered to improve it's relevance and effect now.
The essay will begin with the 2000 manifesto to set the scene and gather the reader's understanding of the topic, the manifesto will then be explained.
The manifesto will be analysed and it's positives and negatives will be shown and backed up with collected quotes from three or more sources. Question the relevance the manifesto has on our modern 2014 lifestyles and work ethics, and then come up with new ideas which would help our society more or be more realistic for our daily lives using the collected quotes.
Create my own version of the first things first manifesto based on the findings studied in the main body of the essay.