By Diana Lind for Next City.
If you were asked to design a poster, postcard, flyer, or what have you, to promote bicycling, what would you create?
A photo of my sister riding a bicycle in Chicago alongside the text, “I want to get in shape, waste less time, and save money.” Similar to Mikael’s “The bike, think about it.”
No one asked me to design the poster above. Mikael Colville-Anderson of Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic (who I met in January 2011) is constantly reimagining car advertisements and plastering cheeky messages on photos. I created this to expand my creativity, use computer software I rarely try out, as well as promote one of the answers to a lot of problems, be they personal, environmental, or social.
I don’t think there’re enough positive messages about bicycling being spread in media or in our media-filled physical environment – we see the opposite. If you watched the Super Bowl commercials on Sunday (or online today), you’d have seen Audi’s “Green Police” arresting people for not recycling or for driving something other than their “clean diesel” car. Audi advertised the same “clean diesel” car in a different commercial that suggested bicycling was difficult and degrading, and probably only done while it’s raining.
To promote bicycling as the cure to what ails us, Mikael designed this poster of a patch kit and the text, “The bicycle. Fixing broken cities. You’re welcome.”
Mikael and I posing for a shot next to hand and foot rail for cyclists after riding our bikes around Copenhagen after sipping some beer and eating expensive, but tasty, hamburgers.
Promoting bicycling doesn’t always need a narrative message, though. This poster for the great people of San Francisco identifies each neighborhood by a kind of bicycle. The funniest one is the exercise (stationary) bike for Castro. Think about the neighborhoods in your city – which one would a fixie represent and which one would get the cargo bike?
One of my favorite messages is apparently quite old: Put some fun between your legs.