Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bike Badges of Honor

Old bicycle head badges have long intrigued me for their beauty and their engaging names: Girlcycle, Peoria King, Roadmaster, to name just a fewReputations of bike manufacturers were built upon these names and identifying brands, and the design of their head badges took on greater significance as the competition among them increased. As you can see from many of the examples here, the most successful bicycle badges relied a great deal on the work of skilled designers and lettering artists of the day. Most of them were originally made of etched metals and often included cloisonné inlay. Today these elaborate badges are highly collectible because they are such beautiful examples of early graphic design. I've included just a few of my favorites from various sources described below each of them.
::Harmony, from The Cabe; The Classic & Antique Bicycle Exchange.

::Gruno, from Bikegeek29's Flickrstream. Check out many other awesome head badges there as well.

::The Rocket is currently listed on eBay. Undated.

::The mighty Automoto, from pkahraman's Flickrstream.

::Western Flyer from fixedgear, who also has quite an archive on Flickr.

::Wearwell from nin-i-fer-rose.

::This appears to be a decal of type ornaments. Looks like it was cosmetically retouched on the bike as well. From rebalrid.

::Union from vee wheelie.

::Simplex | Amsterdam, from transportfiets.

::Shelby Flyer from Joey Mac.

::Edoardo Bianchi decal from atk15706.

::Rambler Cycle with a beautiful bifurcated R from eak moy.

::Steyr from collectvelo.

::Oria Cycles from Jacques Mounnezergues.

1 comment:

  1. The lettering is so ornate, the remind me of illuminated letters. It is interesting how this generation felt their engineering was important enough to merit embellishment. Sewing machines of the era are similar in their ornamentation.


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