Get Creative: 3T Strada for Noble Wheels

A throwback from the Cole Coatings Workshop archive. This finish was created for Jonny Noble under the “House Special” banner offered by Dan and Ian at CCW:

The rules for a House Special are simple; the price is fixed and we paint whatever we like! This is a leap of faith for some and a no-brainer for others. The time saving made by avoiding frequent discussion and consultation on the minutiae of colour choice and logo placement etc all add up to mean we can pass a financial saving to our customer. The creative freedom offered allows us to explore concepts we find fun or interesting to assemble designs to give a genuine one-of-a-kind finish.

This particular scheme explores the common joke amongst designers that the client always asks for the logo to be bigger!

We think it is vital to include branding for a number of reasons, amongst them…

– Cycle history and heritage should be recorded

– Credit should be given where it is due to makers and designers

– High-end bikes are status symbols to some and owning them can a badge of pride

– Bikes without branding can appear unfinished or even like DIY efforts

– Cycle sport is heavily funded by sponsors and their logos hold value

However, these ideas can often conflict with our fondness for the design principles of Dieter Rams. For those not versed, Rams expressed that “Good design is as little design as possible” and whilst practitioners use this often to inform a minimalist approach; it doesn’t have to mean “plain” or “boring” but rather simply “not too much, or unnecessary design”.

As somewhat of a puzzle or riddle, we explored the idea of how we might be able to satisfy the common desire for a lot of branding whilst still maintaining a scheme that was not dominated by logos like a motorsport livery or even simply a billboard. We settled on attempting to make the 3T logos So big that they wouldn’t be instantly discernible; we’d know they were there but casual observers would only know if it were pointed out to them which gives us another way of engaging with the bike and it’s appearance.

We put together a quick animated .gif to illustrate that the large, seemingly overlapping colour blocks in the final design were not random, nor were they composed based on their aesthetic balance per se but rather, they appear as they do in their scale and location based on representing a number of ‘imaginary’, oversized 3T logos layered on top of one another. What we end up with is an unassuming colour block scheme that can sit comfortably alongside any standard factory finish whilst also helping to raise a wry smile from those aware of the niche joke!

Knowing of course that branding is essential, we took this opportunity to add a little variety to the finish. The fork features fine line detail 3T logo in gold; the head tube shows the familiar logo as a gold solid and the down tube has the same 3T logo backed by s staggered , implied drop shadow effect which is further embellished by being presented backwards on the non-drive side just “because”. The layers of product were finally given an additional flow coat of SPI clear and buffed to a high gloss.

Full description and credits:

Design, Paint and Detailing by Dan and Ian at Cole Coatings Workshop

Build by Jonny at Noble Wheels

Photography Adam at The Spoken


This descritpion was not written by Cole Cloatings Workshop but it has been altered for 3T needs.