Sunday, February 6, 2011

What Kind of Bike is Your Neighborhood?


I saw this art poster and think it is a very interesting way to graphically describe a city or community. What defines a neighborhood? Its plan, its people, its coffee shops? How about its residents' choice mode of transportation?

In the above poster, "Bikes of San Francisco," designer Tor Weeks makes compelling case for the bike as the marker of neighborhood identity, and does so with uncanny accuracy. It's hard to disagree that the fixed gear bike solidly stands in for Mission hipsterism while a unicycle conveys the circus of eccentricities on display in the Haight. Noe Valley, routinely mocked for its sidewalks overrun with "stroller brigades," is of course symbolized by a tricycle.

In addition to serving as sharp sociological commentary, "Bikes of San Francisco" is just a great piece of graphic design. The posters are sold out but check back here to find out when more become available. (A Field Guide to Typestaches is also worth a look.)

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