Tour d’Europe marketing
We started off this entire venture with the question of how to design a book about a 3,000 kilometer bike journey. For those with no idea what we’re talking about here, the answer to that question can be found in this previous post about the Tour d’Europe book.
But as anyone who has worked in publishing knows making the book is the easy part, telling the world about the book is much more challenging. Even more challenging is to get people to care about the fact that such a book even exists.
This is probably why there’s usually a separate marketing department, a set of individuals to take over when the author is too exhausted to think about such trivial matters as actually selling the book. But as we write, draw, and publish our own books we unfortunately don’t have a big team of business-minded people to fall back on. Which in a sense is just as good, because coming up with hare-brained marketing campaigns is something we’ve come to enjoy quite a lot. True, they might not work in the traditional sense that we would sell more books thanks to them, but on the other hand we have so much fun working on these campaigns we feel like it more than makes up for the meager-ish results.
The first marketing ploy we came up with had to do with the subtitle of the book – The Yoga of Road Cycling. In the book we spoke about the meditative aspects of what it feels like to let your mind rest while your legs do all the work, and how such a mind falls into a state of creative bliss. In our marketing campaign we decided however to interpret the subtitle literally: What would cycling yoga look like if taken at face value? A quick call to our friend Måns Broo (who happens to also be a Sanskrit scholar) and we had our concept ready: Dvichakra Yoga – Yoga of the Two Wheels.
After some deliberation we came up with a set of thirteen cards featuring thirteen poses which would comprise this new system of yoga, and decided to package them in a small folder. On the flip side of the thirteen cards the name of the asana (yoga pose) can be read both in transliterated Sanskrit as well as in English. The typeface chosen was once again WAD’s Metro No. 2, as was the case in the book this product was supposed to help market. As Christoffer was the bendier one of us he was chosen to model the thirteen poses, a feat that had a poor graphic designer pushed to his very limits.
But before any posing could be done there was a typographic matter to resolve: What kind of a typeface would be suitable for the shirt he would be wearing in the photos? Well, the answer was the mother of no-nonsense sans serifs, Franklin Gothic. (Keeping with the spirit of yogic pursuits the shirt reads Vérité – Truth, beautifully appliquéd on the black pullover.)
With this part done we turned to the question of a poster – we felt we needed one, but a traditional poster seemed a bit dull. So we came up with the idea of a four-page broadsheet newspaper with one side being text-based, the other a nice beautiful photograph of two heroic cyclists. Now the only thing that need to get done was realizing this idea. So Christoffer put his pen to paper and begun writing articles loosely based on what transpired in the book.
And as a newspaper needs a name we came up with a name as pompous as they come: La Voix du Cyclisme – The Voice of Cycling. (The name naturally needed to be in French because French is after all the language of cycling!) And what better way to pay homage to the French than by choosing a typeface called Paris? In all honesty the name of the typeface was merely a lucky coincidence, we would never be frivolous enough to pick a font based on name alone! No, Paris by Enric Crous-Vidal suited our needs perfectly, as the typeface has a distinct personality, one easily associated with the time period we had set out to loosely emulate.
The headlines in our newspaper were set in the wonderfully idiosyncratic didone Ambroise Firmin by Jean François Porchez, while the body copy is set in HTF Didot by Jonathan Hoefler. It should be noted that all of the type has been digitally “aged” to mimic the ink spread on low-grade newsprint. Once opened up the newspaper reveals an intense photograph of a bike race (with only two contestants left in the mix). While this side has no type on it, two aspects should be noted:
1. There’s some beautiful calligraphy on the lower right-hand corner giving details as to when and under what circumstances the photo was shot.
As a small tip of the hat to Rich the third line of the hand written text reads “Equipe Industrie Maison” – that is “Team House Industries” for those of you out there less versed in French!
And then we arrive at the last part of our less than stellar marketing campaign, the cycling cap. Because of course you will need a bespoke cycling cap to go along with the book about cycling across Europe! Seen here is Kaisa posing with the only cap we have left, as these surprisingly sold out immediately at the publishing party. Who would have thunk?
Again we encounter the typeface Paris on the side of the cap. And as we live in a bi-lingual country (The two official languages of Finland are Finnish as well as Swedish) our dilemma was to choose which language version of the name we should use?
Here another House Industrialist came to our aid – Ken Barber quickly convinced us that the Swedish Borgå looked way cooler with the letter Å at the end of the name compared to the Finnish name Porvoo. (His predilection for heavy metal bands with a love affair with umlauts might have been a factor here…)
The bridge underneath the text is a graphic rendering of the walking bridge in our hometown. (The same bridge can be spotted on the cover of the book.) This inclusion of the bridge is of course metaphorical, ie. crossing over something, but it is simultaneously a small nod to one of the most beloved cycling team kits – Brooklyn, with its emblematic rendering of the Brooklyn bridge on the side of their caps. Borgå, Brooklyn, all the same, right?
So there you have it, the story of our marketing material!
We might not have sold any more books because of these, but they sure were fun to work on. And in the end that’s all that matters. Don’t let any marketing department tell you otherwise.
- marketing (15)
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- postcards (149)
- series (912)
- wheels (5)
- multilingual (1900)
- Sanskrit (language) (4)
- English (language) (1755)
- transliterations (4)
- newspapers (135)
- newspaper logos (37)
- French (language) (1928)
- all caps italics (389)
- small caps (156)
- newspaper front pages (72)
- six columns (7)
- justified text (784)
- caps/baseball caps (58)
- bicycle gear (20)
- self-initiated projects (339)
- self promotion (231)
1 Comment on “Tour d’Europe marketing”
Father Luke says:Nov 21st, 2023 12:19 pm
A journey in itself, with marvelous experiences along the way.
Thank you for sharing.