Color Me Good
As art director here at All-City, people often tell me, “dang, I love that color” or “dang, I hate that color”. Fact is, people have very strong ideas and opinions when it comes to this topic, ones that probably originated from childhood and have been cumulating since. Your favorite red hoodie, your high school sports team, the curtains in your grandma's kitchen, color is tied to memory and therefore it’s tied to emotion. And no one can say who’s right or wrong, really, but they will damn well tell you if they love it or hate it. You can imagine that this makes my job quite tedious. But there is a method to the radness when it comes to choosing paint for our A/C bikes.
First I have to try to put my personal biases aside. Admittedly, I don’t like red. Not really sure why, but it’s been as long as I can remember. Maybe it was that spaghetti sauce I puked up in 3rd grade. Then, on a real basic level, there’s color theory. Like red evokes strength, intensity and passion. Blue is tranquility, stability and trust. Green equals nature, health, safety…you get the drift. Then there are more influential factors like industry and design trends and specific inspiration from the past. Vintage motorcycles, hot rods, old Bridgestone catalogs, ski and skateboarding magazines. We also consider the environment these bikes are going to live in. In most cases, we want them to stand out against the urban landscape of cement, pavement, and brick, as well as the muddy terrain of a cross course. That being said, not every color can be the hero. I like to blend in some neutrals for those with more understated tastes. Even our black paint, if you look closely, has a ton of sparkle and depth.
Prior to my arrival, the paint decisions were made mostly by Jeff. I do have to give him credit for some great picks. In my opinion, everything started with Nature Boy lime green. That bike gave me license to get loud and remains one of the most iconic AC bike colors. We love it so much, we brought it back on the new 853.
One of my all-time faves is the Shelby Silver Big Block, inspired by the Shelby Cobra. We’re bringing that color back this year on the Space Horse and the Macho King.
Sometimes we are inspired by the classics. The Ritchey P22 influenced our Nature Boy Zona and paved the way for the fades you see in the current line-up.
And I’ve been able to evolve the classic tips to this super hot Merckx Corsa Extra inspired scheme.
The classic Bridgestone aesthetic is near and dear to our hearts. This Sir Elton Big Block is my personal favorite whip.
Often our customers have taken paint into their own hands, and we definitely have no problem with that! Peep Erin Young’s flashy new Thunderdome.
So bottom line is that everyone has a different opinion about color. We try to keep it interesting here at All-City. We hope you’re getting stoked on our paint, as it’s a very special part of our process. We want these bikes to live for a long time and conjure epic memories for y'all. If you haven’t found it yet, tell us what color you’ve been dying to see!
AC Art Director