Established in 1995, Cervélo is a Toronto, Canada-based manufacturer of racing and track bicycles founded by Dutch and Canadian engineers Gerard Vroomen and Phil White. Their name is a combination of the Italian word for brain, cervello, and the French word for bicycle, vélo — basically, “brainbike”. Offering seven different series, ranging from road bikes to track cycling performance bikes, all of their products are nerdily engineered and are very well regarded by everyone from casual weekend riders to professional athletes (with whom they have had plenty of successful sponsorship partnerships). At the beginning of this year, Cervélo started rolling out a new identity designed by Toronto-based Concrete.
As part of a broader initiative, the company engaged Concrete to update its brand to reflect the highly-engineered quality of Cervélo’s products as well as its status as a global leader in the sector.
The challenge was made more complex with the need to create a compelling singular brand voice while appealing to Cervélo’s broad and diverse audience - Road, Track and Triathlon - all of whom had divergent sensibilities and attitudes. The entire brand was evaluated and updated - brand positioning and tagline, visual identity, product branding and segmentation, photography and brand style.
At first glance the old logo wasn’t that bad but once you hit rewind and pause, man, it was a wreck. Amid all the wonkiness, though, were some good bones, which the new logo has amazingly unearthed to create an excellent wordmark that maintains the equity of the original but now is as nerdily engineered as the bikes themselves. Removing the ball terminal from the “c” and the “r” is probably the best move as the flat endings of those letters creates a stronger horizontal line with the “e”s and the revised accent over the second “e” along with the taller “l” is so good. Maybe it’s too much praise, but this is a perfect evolution and does it ever look good on them bikes.
To complement the wordmark, a family of condensed gothics with vertiginous italics is used in the application along with non-stop, bad-ass product and action photography. The few samples shown have a great boldness and energy to them that fits the product and its audience like a glove. The only odd thing is using the “é” as the standalone letter for a monogram… I understand that it’s the more curious of all the letters and one that stands out but with such a nice new “c” I do wonder why they didn’t use that instead.
Overall, this is a solid update from start to finish, hitting all the right notes and making this look like a top performance product and brand.