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Thread: 44 Bikes

  1. #21
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Hey Kris, I'm glad you sat down to write this stuff down. Ever since you first started showing your work on here I've been attracted to it. From your design work, through your workshop and onto your great bikes. Something about it ticks all tehr ight boxes for me. The attention to detail and the aesthetic ticks a lot of boxes for me. Love it.
    __________________________________________

    "Even my farts smell like steel!" - Diel

    "Make something with your hands. Not with your money." - Dario

    Sean Doyle

    www.devlincc.com

    https://instagram.com/devlincustomcycles/

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/150347135@N07/8t44Pk

  2. #22
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Nice read - thanks for taking that time to share.
     

  3. #23
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Grrrrrrr! Need to proof read more.
    __________________________________________

    "Even my farts smell like steel!" - Diel

    "Make something with your hands. Not with your money." - Dario

    Sean Doyle

    www.devlincc.com

    https://instagram.com/devlincustomcycles/

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/150347135@N07/8t44Pk

  4. #24
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    No worries - I'll chalk that up to excitement. Thanks for the kind words.

    Here's a rare shot from the archives when all I had was a camera that required that stuff "film". Just finished boring one of the many hubs I machined, built and rode. My first real taste of riding what I created.



    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  5. #25
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Like to hear the story behind your logo.

    Tim


    The logo also has a lot of meaning to it. I'll have to make up a little "pictograph" explaining what all of the symbols mean and what the story is. There's a lot of thought that went into it.
     

  6. #26
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    I forget how I first stumbled onto your bikes, but the more I look at them the more I want one. Now I find out that your from my area originally, I'll be selling my Stumpjumper in short order to offset the cost! Great read and wish you happy riding!
     

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Logo Story

    With any logo project I take on, it takes careful planning, a heck of a lot of thought, a lot of process, and inspiration. Knowing your "ideal user" is also helpful. In this case, it was a serious one of "the coblers kids have no shoes". It's one thing to meet with a client, discuss what their brand is, what they want it to be and develop a story that embodies their brand. This is then interpretted and translated through my own lens/filter back to the client. So a lot of it is understanding what the want, but knowing what they need. With the shoe completely on the other foot however, the project can get flipped on it's head. Now I was playing client AND designer all at once. I found over time that sometimes I need to actually separate these two parts out and in so many ways, talk to myself and ask those same questions I would of a client. It all starts with pencil and paper however. Sometimes it goes right into the computer (Adobe Illustrator is my weapon of choice for logo creation). Sometimes it starts as a sketch on paper, then gets scanned, refined, printed out and further manipulated by hand. This process of refinement can happen quickly or can take some time - it all depends really as you begin to play with the forms and letters (or numbers in this case). But generally, coming out of those first conversations, I'll have a pretty clear idea, even if it's a foggy one, of where I need to go. But it is very important to know your client, know their audience and understand how the logo will be used and what types of applications it will be put through.

    So the story behind my logo starts in and around 2006-ish. Mostly I was playing primarily with the numbers "44" as forms but not really having any real inspiration and not really getting anywhere. I let this rest for about 2 years (literally) and pulled it off the shelf around 2008 again when I really started to get serious about making 44 Bikes a brand. This is when I had that conversation with myself and I began to do a "brain dump". I needed to identify what I wanted 44 Bikes to be. What it's heritage was. So I started by writing all kinds of words that inspire me with regards to bicycles, feelings, phrases, etc. Then I branched off into some nostalgic terms that related back to my family heritage with as well as my own personal 'bloodline' with physical heritage. This was really important because it began to paint a backstory of the brand that was really an extension of myself. I knew I didn't want to simply name it after myself like "Henry Cycles" or something along those lines. That was a bit too literal for my sensibilities. I really love the dynamic that symbols and icons play in our every day lives. Things that are recognizable without fully seeing them. So I knew I wanted the logo to have some visual depth. Here's a quick mockup of the original sources of going through that process of developing the logo from it's original incarnation in 2008 (bottom) to where it was fully realized and refined in about 2010 (top). There's a lot missing from this, but these are the most prominent forms that the logo went through before I was "done".



    The original at the bottom took me a while to arrive at and the one at the top took a few days to fully develop and refine. Keep in mind that this was done intermittently between client work, late nights or full on assaults. Sometimes I'll be working on one project that will completely derail because a previous project or even a future project comes crashing into sharp focus. I'll have to push aside that work, and change gears while the juices are flowing. While this may seem disjointed it's actually not. Each project vibes off of each other and continuously is developing in my conscious. So in a way, the more diverse the project load out, the better the results sometimes can be as they are all helping to push one another to that next level. This can even happen out in the shop and vice versa. But when I begin a actual bicycle build, that is done from start to finish without interuption. I do not mix and match builds (that's a recipe for disaster as numbers and measurements could really be mixed up between drawings). It works well on the visual design side, but when it's time to build, it's not so. But it's all really one continuous creative flow if you follow me. I've worked up a pictogram to help illustrate the story and meaning:



    There are two versions of the logo: One with the word lock and one without. The one with the word lock I refer to as the "44 Logo Stack".

    Here goes: The overall form if you get rid of everything is a shield. That is a protective symbol so everything inside is locked up tight and under watch by this form. Inside of this is the "Word Lock". The literal side of the brand. Just below and encasing "The heart" is "The Field". This allows the eye to rest and plays a bit of a dynamic with the positive and negative shapes and allows the heart shape to rest as well as they eyes. This is also a reference to the gridiron. The basic shape within the shield is "The Heart". I live and breath bicycles. They're in my blood. It's my heartbeat. That heart form is stamped on the front of each and every one of my bikes. It's another way of stating: My Heart is worn on my sleeve. "The Twins" also play much like a left/right ventrical. My heritage is 1/2 German, 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Polish. The Germanness seems to get the better of me and this is a slight nod to the traditional double headed eagle. It also plays to the tune that I am married to a twin. She's there with my heart. They point east and west-bringing the two sides together (and hint at the duality of the Number 44, divisible by 2). The heart is shrouded by "the Wings". These are stretched downward, much like a bird would finish it's stroke of flight upward, ascending. Not up or outstretched as to pause the form. "The Vents" harken the days of the balloon tire cruisers and the early clunkers - my nod to mountain bikes early days. "The Numbers" bring it all together so the shape is a shield within a shield = double protection. That's it in a nutshell. All the DNA of my heritage, love and passion locked up in that logo.

    Here it is without the pictogram:



    And the art for the head badge as a pure logo version sans word lock:



    This same process but not as lengthy in terms of meaning was done for the logo font I recently finished. This one was more functionally motivated and applied where I knew the form was going to be wrapped around a tube so many versions were printed, cut and wrapped around a tube to seek balance. I prefer a clean frame, but I think there may be those who may want this with their build so it was will be an option and was a challenge to realize. Here's a pic of the finished DT script:

    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Logo Story

    Very cool, LOTS of thought in that logo. Thanks for explaining. Quick question about the font, last image in your post above. And let me preface this by saying my graphic design knowledge is limited to what I've done in Microsoft Paint.

    I see the F and T have some curvature to the vertical 'lines' of the letter, but none of the others have that curve. Why is that? Do you have a picture of the script on a bike we could see?
    Dustin Gaddis
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Logo Story

    Thanks - I wanted a bit of play between the stem of the T and the descender of the Y. The original all caps letter forms were a bit too "stiff" and upright to my eye. When wrapped around a tube, they seemed to elongate even more and the letters seemed bunched together. That bend in the T begins to quiet down a bit when wrapped around a tube which is an interesting flip. I changed the feel of the "F's" a bit to give them more emphasis and pull your eyes through the forms. The bent stem of the T also begins to fill in some of that negative space created by the descender of the Y. These changes were more functional/visual than literal meaning of any kind. The only shots I have of the DT script is black on black at this point and a bit tough to take a photo of ironically as they are tonal (which is part of the idea with this build - subtle branding):



    I'll be taking better shots of this build, which is a cross / gravel frame that will be seeing the light of day at the New England Builders Ball, and be sure to post up the full build shots here after the show.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  10. #30
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    I rode this bike very briefly at the NH100- nothing more than what amounted to a parking lot ride. But what was really self evident right out of the gate was the nimbleness to it- the front lifted up nicely and did not feel "long"...it could turn and I could really wheelie it...which not all 29er bikes lend themselves to that. I have had a bunch of 29ers but none had the short wheel base feel that would be great for really-really technical riding...

    I can get away with murder with big wheels (they dumb down the trail), but I would be trouble if I had a bike that I could pick the front end up so easily.

    PS: 44 is A+... I met Kris and his beautiful wife at NH100...super cool cats that I wished I had gotten to hang out with more.
     

  11. #31
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Wow. Really cool read. Loved hearing your story and the meaning behind your logo.

    How long were you with Ted W and how did your "internship" progress? What is the main (or top 3 if you wish) thing(s) you felt you learned from Ted that was eye opening? Or was the experience more like fine tuning the skills you had been working on throughout your life?

    Thanks for this. This was inspiring.
     

  12. #32
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    @The Bottle Ride: Thanks for the kind words - what's been amazing is meeting people like you who have been following along and specifically, followed that build from start to finish and then being able to hand the bike over and say "let me know what you think". It's one thing to build these bikes, but a whole other level of fulfillment to see someone ride away on one and return with wide eyes and white teeth.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  13. #33
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    @Roguedog: Thanks for the kind words. I was working and helping Ted for approximately 2.5 - 3 years. To answer your question, it is a bit of both honing skills and learning new ones. Most likely the biggest impact Ted had was bringing my welding skills to the next level, hands down. There are things you learn from someone who has seen it all and has that much talent/experience under their belt that you just can't learn on your own (or if you do, it takes a heck of a long time). Small tips and tricks were passed along that I keep very close and it's those little details and conversations of open dialogue in the learning process that really helped me. So in a way, to be under the wing of a master, it's not only an honor, but a gigantic slice of mentorship. I see and recognize the value of the traditional apprentice/master relationship for sure. That's how skilled workers come to be, and how the craft can be passed along and continually honed. That also helps to raise the bar all along the playing field too. I gained a friend, a pier and met an amazing person for sure. I am forever in his debt for the kindness and openness he showed me. What goes around comes around as they say. One day when I am in that position, I'd like to do the same and pass along my knowledge to the right person/s. But I have a lot to learn still! Which is cool as life is all about continually challenging oneself and learning new things each day. IMO: Ted Rules ATMO.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  14. #34
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Thanks for the explanation of the logo, when I first started following your work I thought you had some kind of labor union affiliation. All the best in the future, you have worked very hard, I'm sure it will pay off big.

    Tim
     

  15. #35
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Thanks Tim. No labor union affiliations but a fan of the labor movement aesthetic and it's history. I am a supporter of workers rights (of all ranks be it blue or white collar) and the importance of "Made in the USA".
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  16. #36
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Cool my Dad was a Union tool and die maker learned alot from him, I belong to a Union as well, it's certainly a dying breed. I even made up a fictitious decal for my HJ and True Temper frameset for fun, your welcome to join dues are free representation is nil ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    Thanks Tim. No labor union affiliations but a fan of the labor movement aesthetic and it's history. I am a supporter of workers rights (of all ranks be it blue or white collar) and the importance of "Made in the USA".
    Attached Images Attached Images
     

  17. #37
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    Default Re: 44 Bikes

    Good stuff. I belong to my "Local No. 44":



    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
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  18. #38
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    Default Something different but still familiar

    So taking a step back, I thought it would be appropriate to show everyone the "other side" of what I have done. First up is some silver work. These all start as round stock that is annealed, drawn down to size/shape and in some cases hand forged to their shapes before assembled by hand with a variety of construction techniques. Each one of these is individually constructed and joined systematically as they are built to form the links that make up these necklaces. More experiments in form than anything else. These two pieces actually followed my discovery of enamel and learning the methods associated with enameling - my work up to that point was very "rectilinear". The introduction of a color palette other than copper, silver, gold etc. really opened things up and changed the direction of the work dramatically.





    These next pieces start life as copper sheet - I believe it was actually 18g copper, that was annealed and rolled down to 20 or 22g. I then created dies for the shapes that were then hand cut out of .25" aluminum, and cut by hand with a jewelers saw (insane I know) and with the aid of a large swing press, the positive shapes were pressed out forming these pods. These were then cut out again with a jewelers saw, filed/tuned the edges, and then were prepped for the enameling process. Both the inside/outside are enameled. Then assembled as these necklaces:





    A happy accident is when you pick them up and they rattle together - the sound is quite pleasing and delicate. The next are hair pins that incorporate some of the methods of the assembled necklaces from silver above, forming bezels and the enameled parts are held with short prongs. Again - a bit more experimental than functional but they do work.





    The green enamel are actually two different colors with different firing temperatures. By over firing or under firing these two separately, I was able to get some depth as the second firing is under fired, forcing that color to pull together in a dot pattern giving some visual depth. Over firing allows me to regulate some of that burn on the edges that can be interesting if done subtly.

    I scored a kiln not too long ago - so this winter I hope to revisit a few of these and see where it takes me next. Enjoy.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
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  19. #39
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    Default Now for some ID Sketchin'

    Let's check out some ID sketchin'. Personally, I like to start concepts with HB lead on Graphics 360. This allows me to explore form quickly and easily in 3d or planned view. Most of my sketches start as planned view sketches to hash out the overall look and function. When I get to the point where I need to start presenting concepts to the client, that is when I pop to 3/4 views and such as it begins to give the client more of an idea of the concept and allows me to fully visualize things. But initially, I prefer to work in planned view sketches as i can work quicker this way and get more concepts down which is important. From here I will do some quick renderings by hand sometimes if I see it as appropriate or depending on mood, and other times I will then scan these sketches and create a more polished rendering utilizing Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. This allows me then to assemble things into a PDF or print in high resolution. Not to mention, concepts are not at risk of getting "F'd" up with pen and ink - I don't have ready access to a copier, otherwise I would keep with more traditional methods as it keeps things a lot more interesting than staring at a computer screen. The sketches also have a bit more organic feel to them too and not so brushed as per computer work. The only time I will do anything in cad, is either final production forms OR if there is a perspective I can't seem to nail. I'll build it in solidworks and utilize that as an underlay to get perspective right. Overall the majority of these sketches are quick and gestural in nature. More conceptual than anything else. I've found this starts to build ideas and excitement around a particular concept and functional aspects of these concepts can be explained through simple sketches. Starts to build a story. Hope all enjoy. So much of this work never sees the light of day. Most likely 99.9% of what I do never goes anywhere. Nice with the framebuilding: 100% sees the light of day and 100% goes somewhere!

    From my shoe design days. Concept sketches for outsoles:









    Concept sketches for various "other" work/clients. Hydration components:





    Loose helmet concepts:





    Glove concepts:





    Loose initial concept for the Fuel Belt "Helium" Collection:



    Final concept for the Helium Hydration System:



    Finished Product: (Photo courtesy Fuel Belt - one of my clients)

    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Now for some ID Sketchin'

    Cool shit Kris...nice to see you here in SO. Keep rockin it!

    rody
     

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