Schwinn

Manual Creative avoids the “crutch” of nostalgia for Schwinn rebrand

Manual wanted bold typography for the core wordmark; the main focus was on the S and C characters having a “sharp, swooping feeling” to convey “the right touch of sportiness, without it feeling too ‘high-performance’.” The Schwinn star, used with the logotype and as a stand-alone sign off, has been simplified and flattened for greater flexibility. The classic cursive logotype was an instance where Manual Creative retained a heritage mark, although the brand worked with typographer Simon Walker to rethink its structure with more “forward momentum”.

In a unique approach for a cycling identity, Manual introduced illustration as an addition that could adapt over time, initially launching with work from Christopher DeLorenzo and Xoana Herrera. Swapping out the “over-used” and “somewhat generic” Gotham, Manual introduced Bobby, by F37 Foundry, and Ginto, from Dinamo, for typefaces. Finally, a vibrant palette was built around Schwinn adverts from the 50s-70s, to subvert the “cold” feel of many cycling brands, says Tom.

“The plus point of working with this much history is that we get to edit and retain what’s special about the brand,” Tom states. “We’re not inventing an entire brand identity out of nowhere. We look back, get to the core of what makes a brand special and memorable, and carry the heritage forward in a way that resonates with today’s riders.”


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