Graphic designer Martin Kolerus: Cycling is all about repetition

Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus

Road bike belongs to the inventory of a lot of graphic designers. But less is really riding them. Martin Kolerus is a cyclist. Maybe that's why he understood the assignment that well and finish it. Originally, the idea was to build the brand identity around the original logo. As you can see, it turned out completely different.

Could you explain how the creative process for the new Repete identity began?

Initially, the guys didn’t come to me with the idea that they needed a new logo. They wanted me to think about the whole identity, which was missing in the beginning. In the end, after much discussion, we decided to change everything.

I was aware of Repete before we worked together, but I had thought of the brand as just a product with a logo on it. In my opinion, the other parts of the brand seemed a bit outdated and incoherent.

It has a different context and you may not always be able to interpret it in the right way.

The guys probably felt similarly, so in the beginning, they just wanted to take the old logo and work it into a more comprehensive identity. Reworking something originally designed by someone else is always a bit tricky for a graphic designer. If the design has a different context, you can’t always interpret everything correctly.

So in the end, we eventually got to the point where we decided to start from scratch. I think this made sense. Especially right now, as the guys move to ready-made production, which is a huge milestone for the company.

Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus
Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus
Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus
Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus
Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus
Repete, font, topol, Martin Kolerus

Is there anything specific about working for a cycling brand? Is it different from other projects in any way?

I don’t want to say it was easy for me, but what made it a little easier was the fact I’m a cycling enthusiast. Otherwise, the work was the same as for any other product. You need to do some analysis, consider who the target group is, and so on. But it was fun working for Repete though: mainly because I am familiar with, and really like, cycling aesthetics.

Moreover, brands usually choose the colors and implement the logo at this point in the creative process, and there’s not much of a corporate identity beyond this. Our advantage was that we could go further in the process. Especially due to the brand’s name – Repete – which is a great idea from the beginning.

How was the identity creation process?

Of course, I started with the research and the product itself. What happened, though, was something I wanted to avoid from the beginning. I focused too much on the rim, tube, and placement of the logo which kind of shifted my attention away from the product as a whole.

I had to start all over again multiple times. I tried a few standard methods, such as extended logos, several different options, etc.

I think it’s important to realize that the bolder the design, the sooner it may get old. Unless you create a well-known, recognizable brand, it will stop working within a few years.

Can you give an example of a brand identity that has experienced long-term success?

Perhaps Bianchi. I think, as a brand, they’ve really maintained their success for decades. They used a Grotesque font for their logo, which is not very emotional, but it’s immortal. Of course, the brand has evolved over time, but its core has remained the same. They’ve got their own colors, a simple logo and I think it will work next summer just as well as in twenty years.

You’ve mentioned the brand name, Repete, already. How did you incorporate it into the identity?

The meaning of Repete is pretty clear. To repeat is to do something over and over again. This is doubly true in cycling. You constantly repeat certain rituals, you regularly for rides, you repeat the same movements, you often take the same routes; that’s what I really enjoy about it. The repetition makes you fall into a trance, turn off and relax.

The whole idea of repetition was essential for the graphic design. It permeates the visual style in the form of elements that keep repeating themselves.

Repetition can be found in writing, layout, colors, and photos.  It’s quite flexible and we will always use this principle in different ways, so it will never get boring.