Designer Paul Smith’s love of cycling is no secret. His earliest dream was to become a professional cyclist, but an injury at the age of 17 curtailed his aspiration. Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook brings together the memorabilia and projects Paul has collected and worked on throughout his life.
The 256-page oversized book, published by Thames and Hudson, has been designed by Aboud + Aboud and contains over 500 illustrations. This book is not only a love letter from Paul to the sport, but a document that shows the evolving technologies, fashions, aesthetics and branding in cycling. Throughout the book there are intense oil portraits of cycling heroes such as Eddy Mercx, Jaques Anquetil and Tom Simpson by Nottingham-based artist Karl Kopinski.
Organised into nine sections that cover aspects of cycling ranging from the great races to Paul’s personal collection of bikes, the design is sometimes chaotic – perhaps a reflection of the disarray that prevails in his London office that he says is “sometimes mistaken for a bike shed.” As a primer into the world of cycling, this is a visually rich and greatly personal account of the history of a sport that continues to gain popularity. As an insight into Paul’s motivation as a designer, it reveals that his cycling heroes showed him what passion and drive can achieve.