I had a look at general cycling maps to see if there was anything special or different about them but they just tend to be very clear route maps that are easily followed.
A guy I know called Rob Borek does a lot of road races and time trials and one thing he always does is mark out his directions on a piece of paper and tapes it to his handlebar stem. If I included this as part of the map so it folded down to this sort of concept that would be really good.
I wanted the style of the graphics to be very bold, colourful and contrasting, this is a theme that follows through cycling for what I can assume is 'high-vis' but more fun. I also wanted it to look very hand-rendered and low-fi to simulate what an alley-cat map would be like in the US.
I first image traced my map in the right thresholds to hold the roads in a clear structure.
I then piled on all of the information I wanted to include and put them roughly where it would make most sense in real life.
I wrote a little motivational speech about the race (the degree) as if it was a massive accomplishment to even finish the race, let alone succeed.
"This is not a race for the faint hearted. The next three years are going to involve a strenuous amount of time in small dark rooms in front of computer screens and wielding scalpels and other tools of the trade in a hope to make something of your life. This is one of the most challenging races in existence, many will be left behind and fall to the likes of over-night blogging, lino-cut injuries and unsuccessful print finishes.
If you make it, you will be victorious. You will be a minority that has learned how to love the act of drowning. A Leeds College of Art BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate."
The other content included the title of the race, which I named BAGD TO THE BONE, to play on the hardcore scene in bike races as well as involving the course. The checkpoints are big events that have happened throughout the time on the course for me, these will be displayed on the route in the relevant point in time of the 'race'. A graph which simulated my stress levels over the three years in half segments. A list of race sponsors which included Restrap for providing me with so much great work and introducing me to interesting people, netflix for taking me away from work when the weather was too bad to go riding, the lift agency for giving me the opportunity to work with them, tall boys for selling me all the beer in the world as well as holding me in an exhibition, apple for obvious reasons in computing, 'mates' to signify the amount my friends have supported me on and off the course, it is also a condom brand which I found childishly amusing, Pc World for giving me the part time job over two and a half years of the degree, and finally my favourite burger joint five guys.
The prize is a little joke that refers to working so hard for a grade on a piece of paper as a physical outcome, but at the same time a lifetime supple of skills that will help me move onto the next stage of my life. And then the date is hand-in day.
I printed this plan off and then traced it with a 0.1 fine-liner to give it a jagged and hand-rendered aesthetic that I was aiming for.
This was then image-traced and manipulated until they were all fills in the necessary places.
When it came to colour, I wasn't sure what to go for but I knew it would be bright and colourful. I started with a combination of bright red, two blues and a grey before later on developing the grey into a low opacity pink to push that high vis aesthetic out.
I drew out what would be the back of the map to stick to the stem and then image traced that before placing it in the correct position so that it could be folded up.
I am really happy with the final outcome of this piece of print as it tells the whole story of my time on the programme in a creative format that is relevant to me. Hopefully it'll look just as good printed!