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Orange Bicycles in New York | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Orange Bicycles in New York

There’s a lot of things things one can take for granted living in New York as there’s so many new places to check out. One area that I try to visit once every six weeks is Central Park. My favourite area is the line that makes up the mall. Walking towards Central Park I passed Bryant Park which is in the midst of Fashion Week with all the tents on the grounds. Aside from all the fashion people floating around outside the gates the other thing that caught my eyes was a bright orange bike with the simple url dkny.com. The uptight designer in me wants to laugh it off as a silly stunt, though the civilian in me was still caught by the bright colors and I still remember the url today.

As a way to drive people to a fashion website I think this works really well – as part of a brand maybe not, but even what a brand “is” is really being challenged. Part of recognizing a brand is through the ability of not seeing the logo yet recognize what the company is. Why the orange bicycle actually works is not b/c of the bright stunt but it’s part of an abstraction of the actual web campaign (I suspect print too) with the orange color and New York and has less to do with the actual logo. Fashion is all about emotion, not tight logo constraints. Isn’t it more fun to flaunt in the face of practicality? I’ve also seen the orange bike on 23rd and 9th ave and I imagine when I walk to work on Monday to SoHo I’ll see one or two pop up there. In the end I did end up visiting the site and appreciated the tie in – smart art direction as opposed to oppressive design police.

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  • http://www.gwadzilla.blogspot.com gwadzilla

    I dig it…

    and yes

    it draws attention to DKNY
    as well as starting the conversation on the topic of urban cycling

    will this send money to the pockets of Donna Karan?
    maybe… but all the other things are worth it
    free cycling maps sounds pretty cool to me

    it all companies did something like this
    even with a selfish desire
    the world would be a better place

    we all question the possibility of Altruism
    asking for altruism from business?
    business is business
    of course there is a business spin to anything that a business does

  • felix

    you’ve been tangoed

  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    thanks for pointing that out gwadzilla, good points

  • sven

    inspired by the Ghost Bike memorial project: a ghost bike
    is a bike painted plain white attached near a location
    where a cyclist have been killed or ibjured by a motorist.

  • Stardoll

    The majority of cyclists in NYC are pissed off about the DKNY ghost bike rip-off campaign. Interestingly, the branding experts defending it display a uniform lack of moral standards, rationalizing that since DKNY is in business to make money, anything they do is OK. (Waterboarding, anyone?)

    The ghost bikes are memorials to dead cyclists. Let them rest in peace!

    Using the image of a bicycle in an ad campaign does not equate to advocacy. In this case, it’s just greenwashing. The bike maps DKNY is touting were printed at public expense and are already available at bike shops all over NYC as well as on the Web. The helmets are distributed by the DOT. And as the NY Times City Room reports, the city govt says it has no deal with DKNY.

    By taking advantage of cyclists’ sincere desire to see mainstream America embrace cycling, DKNY’s campaign is as opportunistic as it is disrespectful. Which makes it even uglier than the horrific orange paint with which it defiled those 75 bikes.