In 2011, ARTCRANK made its first appearance at Interbike, the cycling industry’s annual new product showcase in Las Vegas. We recruited artists from around the world for our most ambitious event ever — an experience that was equal parts thrilling, weird, wonderful and terrifying. In other words, just a typical jaunt to Vegas. In January, we began working with Interbike in a partnership that’s gone beyond bike posters. Our man Patrick Murphy tells the story of how that came to be, and what Interbike attendees can expect to see in 2012.
While an industry trade show in a sprawling convention center in Sin City may not be the first place you think of for an art show, ARTCRANK isn’t your typical art show. And Interbike definitely isn’t your typical trade show.
Amidst the jam-packed lineup of ten ARTCRANK events in two countries, Interbike 2012 stands out. Which is fitting, considering that among the brands and businesses featured at Interbike, ARTCRANK is something of an anomaly. Needless to say, both organizations couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.
In 2011, ARTCRANK made its Interbike debut, marking the first time an art show was featured as an exhibitor at the trade show—the cycling industry’s largest in North America.
“Interbike was intense,” said Pete Basgen of ARTCRANK. “It was very much like other ARTCRANK show experiences in that I got to nerd out about bikes and art with a room full of other folks who are just as excited by the concept as I am. But that room was about 100 times bigger than normal. And rather than speaking to a few hundred people, I got to speak to a few thousand.”
In a convention center filled with carbon frames, jerseys, energy supplements and nearly 800 brands jostling for attention, “A poster party for bike people” was a bit of an unexpected feature. But while poster art might have seemed out of place at first glance, the cycling-influenced prints turned out to be part of a natural evolution of the larger event: The posters didn’t help Interbike attendees ride faster or further. They reminded them why they ride in the first place.
“Celebrating bike culture is an important part of what Interbike is all about, and ARTCRANK is an awesome showcase of creativity, talent and a love of bicycles,” said Elayna Caldwell, Interbike’s marketing director.
Before the final poster was sold at the 2011 show, we had already circled, highlighted and bolded Interbike on the ARTCRANK 2012 show calendar.
With plans to return to Interbike again this fall, ideas started flying around ways to incorporate the talents of ARTCRANK artists into the larger trade show. Elayna and her team, along with Boulder, Colorado agency TDA_Boulder, decided that the bike-minded designers of ARTCRANK were a logical fit to pitch in on the creative end for the promotion of Interbike 2012.
ARTCRANK helped them recruit artists from creative communities across the country to develop and execute the visual elements of the 2012 Interbike marketing campaign — graphics that would appear everywhere from the Interbike site to print ads to direct mail to directional banners on the convention center floor.
Tapping into the diverse cycling arenas and cultures represented in the different “neighborhoods” at Interbike, the handpicked ARTCRANK vets created imagery that pays tribute to road, urban, mountain, triathlons and every type of riding in between.
“ARTCRANK was founded with the idea of giving up-and-coming artists a platform to show off their work, and it’s incredible to do that on such a huge scale with Interbike,” said ARTCRANK founder Charles Youel. “Last fall we had the opportunity to introduce our concept to passionate cyclists from all over the world at Interbike, and the neighborhoods campaign is a cool way to project the creativity of our artists beyond posters.”
The ARTCRANK artists involved in the marketing campaign are
With the marketing campaign well underway, ARTCRANK returns to Vegas the third week of September to throw another multi-day poster party amidst the two-wheeled madness of Interbike 2012.
ARTCRANK will set up shop alongside friends from Chrome Industries once again in the Urban Yard, where we’ll be amping up urban cycling culture with a live DJ on the wheels of steel, videos and nonstop shenanigans for all three days of the show.
With anticipated crowds close to 25,000, we’ve decided to up the ante and let the ink spill over into a second display in The Lab. We’ll join a new showcase of custom bike builders, the famous Interbike fashions shows and the legendary banked-track indoor race of truth known as Circulus.
In both locations, limited-edition posters printed by 26 artists from across North America will be available for $50 apiece, with $5 from every poster purchase being donated to our cause partner for the show, World Bicycle Relief.
With the mission of “providing access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles,” World Bicycle Relief has donated over 110,000 bicycles from Sri Lanka to Sub-Saharan Africa since its inception in 2005. We’re proud to partner with World Bicycle Relief and can’t wait to raise awareness and funding for their cause at Interbike.