Team: FGX Racing
Designer: David Trumpf
Comments from the King of Style™
Not easy to operate on just a Blackberry when on the road for extended periods of time. I did actually write 99% of this entry on my phone, but as we're checking out of the hotel I just grabbed some free Wifi and therefore scored time in gmail and added some hyperlinks. Without futher ado...
One of the finer things in life is roasting marshmallows over an open fire. There is something inherently American about fraternizing with friends on a warm summer's night, sharpened stick in hand, caramelizing your deliciously bubbly, marshmallow rotisserie-style over a crackling fire. You have not a care in the world besides keeping your marshmallow from being engulfed in flames (unless you prefer that method – personally, I do).
I have especially fond memories of this activity in the midst of a relatively long European racing campaign last year, a full ocean away from my patriotic heartstrings. Three good friends got together and with some American ingenuity, we crafted a barbecue, grilled an exquisite dinner, and capped it off with roasted marshmallows. The stark noteworthy exception from the American norm being that European marshmallows are effectively the soft enlarged brethren of the marshmallow candies found in Lucky Charms cereal. That is to say, European ‘shmallows are "fun" cookie cutter shapes coming in unnaturally bright colors, with nary a white cylindrical blob in sight anywhere on the continent. Moreover, when skewed and held above an open flame, they emit strange colors that – while still magically delicious – are anything but reassuring to think what havoc those chemicals wreak on one's kidneys.
KoS, where on earth are you going with this?!
While not saying anything about the willowy lithe model for this kit, I will simply say my mind works in mysterious ways. You see, the instinctive first thought that popped into my mind when I saw this kit was what a hypothetical European Stay Puft Marshmallow Man would look like were he to resemble the colorfully European marshmallows rather than the standard American white. Moreover, I’m curious about the bright and strange colors that perhaps would have been emitted from him were he to be zapped (or given a scrumptious black char, much like this black kit) by the protagonist Ghostbusters and their proton packs, just as the actual European marshmallows yielded bright colors when set to flame.
As I’ve stated recently, black is exceedingly popular in 2010, so I applaud this move as the base color despite the cries from the peanut gallery, “Black?! You’re going to disintigrate in the hot summer sun!” What’s amazing is that the cool factor from looking exceedingly good counteracts any solar rays bearing down upon the wearer.
The Ecto-Cooler bright highlights, however, throw me for a loop. The jersey features a smattering of thin green stripes whereas the shorts' lineage (that is, lines not related to the familial sort) is red. In truth I like this kit quite a bit, but believe that incorporating a few red stripes into the jersey would raise the final product score tremendously.
In any event, here is the final score.
Effort in design: B-
Ability to Elicit Audience Participation: B- *
Execution of final product: B-
* I stand by this grade, although I am curious to know what the “$” on the center rear pocket is all about.
I'm not sure whether it was through decree or by chance, but there seems to be a great number of New York City kit designs that utilize black as a main color in their palettes. Perhaps it's an homage to the black kits of Cervelo from last year or to the inky ensembles sported by Team Sky this year, but one thing is certain—black is back—but of course, this is New York, where even disposable diapers come in black, so it's not like black has ever left.
The FGX Racing kit is definitely on board with the black revival. FGX is a green shipping company, so it seems a bit somber to have such a dark kit, and I'm sure the internal debate (and God help the designer of the kit if they had an internal team debate) had at least one dissenter that worried about wearing a black kit and the potential 2 degree temperature increase from the dark color absorbing the shining sun. I hope that the designer reminded their recalcitrant teammate that most NYC races are at dawn, and that black is slimming, especially when you're sweating like a game show contestant in 90 degree heat.
The look of the kit is a conservative one, which is fine, although it's a bit staid for my tastes. They don't seem to get a lot of logo "bang for the buck", but that's due to the elongated nature of the FGX logo itself—when it comes to logos, like colorectal scopes—compact is where it's at. And I can say that if I were involved with the design of this team's kit, I wouldn't be able to resist using that green rainbow as my inspiration, resulting in something that would look like the following.
And of course, I would also mandate that all team members grow the following hairstyle, to complete the look properly.
Who we are.
Dan Schmalz, when he's not typing aimlessly on the internet for free, is a graphic designer who has owned his own firm for over a decade. His work has been published in numerous national design publications, and his work has received several national awards.
If you want to have you team's kit put through the fashion critique wringer, drop us a line, and we will try to be gentle.
You know that old box of bike parts you've put in your closet?
Recorded inside the press room at Grenoble Velodrome, we bring you Episode #8 of the Insider from the 2011 Tour de France, our final podcast.
Recorded 1,850 metres above sea level atop the famed Alpe d'Huez, we bring you Episode #7 of the Insider podcast from the 2011 Tour de France.