Will Rei is a Californian native and a graphic design student at Cal Poly who is due to graduate this Spring. He recently worked as a graphic design intern with Specialized at the headquarters in Morgan Hill, where he had the opportunity to apply his own custom graphics to an Allez frame. The project was a typographic dedication to his beloved home state.
“I was beside myself when I got the job. I had seen some bikes designed by Robert Egger, the creative director at S, before even hearing about the internship. Turns out his desk was right next to mine! One day we were discussing one of his new experimental bikes and he said “we should get you a frame to do graphics on.” He found me an Allez frameset, the only spare 61 cm in the building, and in my free time I did graphics for it. My fellow intern Scott and I were up till 5 am one night painting it, taking 20 minute naps on the cement outside the paint booth waiting for the clear coat layers to cure.”
“I had toyed around with some different design directions for the frame. All I knew was that I wanted it to be evident from any perspective that it was unique. A lot of riders put decals with their name and national flag on their bikes these days. Some of my S coworkers sported decals that had their state flag, and most of them were California flags.
“I thought “what if I expanded that idea to constitute the whole bike? Could the flag be translated to an entire frame?” That’s what really got me rolling on the design. Instead of wearing my roots on my sleeve, I guess one could say they make up the whole jacket.”
“I’m a California native and I love it here. The places are beautiful. Growing up, my family vacationed to Lake Tahoe every summer, and often to the Monterey area for the historic races and concourses during ‘car weekend’ in August. I go to school in San Luis Obispo where the weather is beautiful and so are the rides. I could go on for hours about all the cool places and experiences there are here, but suffice it to say it’s an amazing place to live, and I’m grateful for it.”
“I knew this would be a bike I would keep forever, a portfolio piece and perennial riding companion. And I knew that if I wanted it to look unique, a show stopper, that I would be remiss if I skimped on components (keep in mind that I’m a starving college student and cycling is merely a hobby for me). Despite being an 61 cm alloy frame, it weighs 17.2 (without pedals), which is right where I was hoping it would end up. I’m really happy with the result, and I’m really thankful for the people at Specialized, and my good friend / intern / roommate Scott, for helping make this bike happen.”
Cycle EXIF would like to thanks Will for the story and photography — here’s hoping we’ll see more of his work in the future. Check out his portfolio on his Behance page, and there’s more details of the Golden State Allez on his flickr.