Tom Briggs (BDes, Graphic Design, 2011) is watching his latest design project speed through the twists and turns of the Tour de France. The senior designer for Cervélo, a Toronto-based bicycle manufacturer, Briggs has designed the new paint job for team MTN-Qhubeka – the first African-registered team in the Tour’s history.
The bicycles’ paint job is an eye-catching chrome and yellow, with accent colours of the South African flag: blue, green, yellow, red and black. Briggs says one of the challenges of designing the look was working with the organic shape and design of the Cervélo bikes. “To find a completely flat surface is near impossible, so working with that and understanding the physical limitation of both paint and decal production and application was a tough balancing act.”
Across the top tube of each model are words that translate the Ngoni word Qhubeka: “Move Forward,” “Carry On” and “Progress.” Qhubeka is the World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa, which is dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing specially designed, locally assembled bikes to people in need.
Ordinarily, Briggs works out of Cervélo’s head office in Toronto, but he also journeys all over the world filming and art directing. He is currently travelling with the MTN-Qhubeka team on the Tour shooting promotional videos.
Briggs says at OCAD U he learned to become adaptable and take risks. “I thought I wanted to make magazines and I've done that professionally, but I also feel I can take on things like working with 3D objects in the form of a bike and be successful there. My education gave me the mindset that you can take risks and, as long as you work as hard as you can, you can make whatever you want to make.”