For lovers of cycling and fine design, a highly-anticipated treat has hit the bookshops. Sir Paul Smith is a very public fan of cycling and an ardent collector of jerseys and memorabilia — a vast amount of which has been compiled into a new book.
Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook is just that: an eclectic collection of magazine advertisements, clippings, photographs and souvenirs; presented in a striking and brightly-coloured layout.
Some hardcore fans of professional cycling may find the graphic treatment a bit hard to swallow, but for those of us who love a well-designed book, it’s a real pleasure to read. Especially when it’s edited by a luminary such as Paul Smith.
After a forward by David Millar, the Scrapbook is organised into sections: The Heroes, The Look, The Great Races, The Jerseys, Contemporary Heroes, and Paul’s Bikes. It’s a wonderfully-curated accumulation of ephemera, selected for their nostalgic design.
The Heroes are biographies of some of Paul’s favourite racers, such as Faust Coppi, Gino Bartali, Charly Gaul, Jacques Anquetil, Raymond Poulidor, Tom Simpson and, of course, Eddy Merckx. Each biography is accompanied by a portrait painted by Karl Kopinski.
The Look is a dissertation on Paul’s love for the design of cycling memorabilia: racing pennants, Campagnolo packaging, maps and souvenir lift-outs etc. He even tells the story of keeping an Evian bottle because of the association with the race sponsor.
The Great Races focus on Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, the Giro D’Italia, the Tour De France, Vuelta A España, and the Tour Of Britain. Each sub-chapter is filled to the brim with photographs and magazine clippings from the ‘Golden Era’ of each event.
The other sections are equally vibrant and informative, and provide a deep insight into Paul Smith’s raison d’être. There’s 250-odd pages of colour and graphics, and a worthwhile addition to every velo-reader’s library.