Don't worry about the weather, hills and car drivers! say the authors of this year's challenge visual, Šárka and Petr - Do práce na kole

Don’t worry about the weather, hills and car drivers! say the authors of this year’s challenge visual, Šárka and Petr

Don’t worry about the weather, hills and car drivers! say the authors of this year’s challenge visual, Šárka and Petr
24. 1. 2024, 10 min. čtení

The original visual of the May challenge graphic designers Petr Kněžek and Šárka Blažková are “in charge” this year. They were mainly inspired by the aesthetics of traffic signs. How did they think when creating the visuals and how do they move around the city? Read an interview with authors who focus on sustainable projects.

When we approached you with the offer to create the To work by bike, walk or jog 2024 visual, what went through your head?

P: In the first few seconds, I probably had initial glimpses of what it might look like. I also remembered the visual from last year by Honza Charvát, who put a lot of work into it, including creating a custom font and animations with a unique dubbing. I was also thinking about how to follow up on his work.

Š: The same.

Did you know the event?

P: I have definitely seen the event on various channels for a long time and I know it exists.

Š: I was aware of the event mainly from Honza Charvát, who shared his work on his IG, but also from various activist collectives.

Do you ride a bike yourself? Do you also have experience with cycling in Prague? Or which means of transport do you prefer?

P: I lived for 3 years in Bologna, Italy, where I used a bicycle as a regular means of transportation on a daily basis. I didn´t even have to push myself, I would say that Bologna is equivalent to Brno, it’s flat. However, the bus timetables were, let’s say, indicative, and actually the required routes took a disproportionately long time by public transport. The bike just made the most sense there. My best memories are from the Critical mass there – protest bike rides, where you can experience what it’s like when, at least for once, a bike is more than a car.

I was clear that after returning back to Prague, I would immediately get a bike, a lock and continue riding. Over time, however, I unfortunately started to abandon the bike. There is actually quite reliable public transport and there are certain sections where it is tiring to cycle, especially due to the elevation gain. I’ve moved several times in recent years and realized that some bike routes almost don’t make sense. Now I live a 10-minute walk from where I work, and the easiest way is to just put on your shoes and walk.

Š: The bike is definitely my favorite means of transport, even though public transport in Prague is great. Even so, I’m always terribly impatient and that’s the same with walking – the bike is so much faster and more fun! At the same time, I like the challenges that Prague sometimes presents with all its hills, cars, confusing intersections (and splitters). Many of my friends in Prague do not ride at all because they are afraid – even though they are passionate cyclists outside the streets of Prague.

How did you decide to approach the challenge visual? What did you base it on?

P: We started by sitting down and inventing. We came up with several concepts, while it still revolved around the visual aesthetics of urban traffic signs. We enjoyed this and it opened up a lot of possibilities in developing the concept into different messages.

Š: I think that the “building block” of all proposals and designs was the idea of ​​a functional visual system that would work on individual elements and be variable in a certain sense. At least that was the case with the winning concept inspired by traffic signs. Regarding the visual form of the identity, we took inspiration everywhere we could think of, one of the proposals was based on the game Pac-Man, for example.

What did you enjoy most about work? What are you most proud of?

P: I probably enjoyed the most the fact that I am not working on the project alone, thanks to the collaboration with Šárka. In recent years, I’ve been working more as a solitaire and it’s nice to create something in a team again. The moment when we moved the graphics into animation was also great – in fact, already in the design process it was clear that it was clearly designed for animation. And I’m proud of the typewriters at Superior Type and Heavyweight Type for giving us their fonts (Raptor Mono and Poplar) to support the project.

Š: I feel the same way as Petr, this project served as a test of our cooperation and I am thrilled that we went for it. Just the fact that I used to write poems about Peter’s work to my friends and now I had the chance to create a visual identity together for a great project like To work by bike. Being a graphic designer can be a bit depressing at times as you sit at the computer all day and night and having a partner is a welcome change. I am equally proud and terribly excited about the generosity of Superior Type and Heavyweight Type.

Have you worked on a related topic before? How do you relate to sustainable transport or sustainability in general?

P: In the last 3 years, I feel that most of the projects I work on revolve around the right to the city, climate crisis or social policy. They are all quite close topics, and it is sometimes more difficult to visually distinguish each other work with a similar focus. But then again, it’s such a good creative exercise that forces you to come up with new approaches. I certainly appreciate any effort towards sustainability in my surroundings, but at the same time I realize that the main responsibility for a sustainable planet is not (only) us, “ordinary” people.

Š: So far, I have only dealt with similar topics in my school work and within activist movements, etc., but not yet in this way. I perceive the issue of sustainability in the same way as Petr.

Grafická designéra Šárka Blažková

Sustainably to a shop…

What would you say to the participants of Bike to Work?

P and Š: Ride, ride, ride, enjoy. Don’t worry about the weather, hills and car drivers!

Petr Kněžek – Graphic designer mainly involved in designing visual identities, books and brochures, typography and font creation, all especially for cultural events, social institutions or activist movements. Member of the cooperative and craft workshop Roleta39. Samples of Peter’s work at VonSaten.net.

Šárka Blažková – Graphic designer, interested in engaged design. Apart from graphic design, he is involved in the gastronomic project Línej Karel, focusing on vegan cuisine. At the same time, she studies Typewriting and Typography at the University of Applied Arts and is also a passionate urban cyclist

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