In a follow-up to last year's Harley Accessories print campaign, which made portraits out of motorcycle parts and took a Bronze Lion at Cannes (click here
for that), Carmichael Lynch has made motorcycles out of handwritten portraits. The previous "Build Yours" campaign was digitally assembled, but this is a refreshingly analog job, involving tracing paper, pens and pencils. Moreover, much of the agency was in on the creative. Original art was solicited "from creatives, account managers, art producers, project coordinators, print producers and the woman who manages the mailroom," says CD/AD Brock Davis.
"Each bike was created using a conglomeration of original words, thoughts, stories and observations that pertain to the life of the person who made the image ? none of these words was provided. The handwriting was judged on its level of imperfection and spontaneity. A few of the illustrated bikes were extremely detailed and they looked amazing, but that's also why they were unusable. The more organic, untraced and amateur the final images looked, the better. In some ways, this was easy to achieve given that most of the people who participated are not trained illustrators. The difficult thing was to have them trace a bike but make it look untraced."
Davis himself apparently managed to pull this off; his art is called "Road King," #2 in the PDF. Designer Steve Jockisch, another non-amateur, did "Fat Boy," the lead piece, but "Softail Custom" is the work of project coordinator Kate Asleson. "When people write in a journal, or jot down someone?s phone number or doodle on a scrap of paper, they just do it without thinking about how it looks," muses Davis. "That?s the feeling we wanted these images to have. I just told everyone to write down anything and everything that makes them who they are. If you misspell a word, if sentences bleed into each other, or if you accidentally sneeze on the paper, that?s all fine."