Knolly was born from the punishing trails of Vancouver’s north shore. The brand’s aesthetic is derived from this environment with a focus on high performance frames that don’t sacrifice for strength and stiffness. This approach, along with a reputation for a no compromise approach to design, has served well for the premier boutique brand. So when the time came to introduce a carbon frame, Knolly bikes faced a risk. The new design should capitalize on the sexiness of carbon’s clean look, but not alienate customers who had come to recognize the burly machined and welded features that are so visually prominent on Knolly’s alloy designs.
Form3 started the challenge with a discovery phase that explored ways to balance the new aesthetic. The process allowed the team to evaluate and discuss how Knolly wanted to position itself and ultimately make a decision that would define the look of its carbon line of bikes. The design of the Warden C uses tubular cross sections that tie it to the legacy of the brand, but transitions between shapes capitalize on carbon capabilities by emphasizing visual flow between elements. The visual lines of the bike were meticulously tweaked to emphasize strength, speed and fluidity. Features are elegant, but still burly in proportion to produce a frame with amazing lateral rigidity. Focusing visual mass in specific areas and the addition of armouring help reinforce that this bike can take on all punishment.
Graphics were developed that help enhance the shaping of the frame. Model and technology wordmarks were also developed that will be easily integrated into multiple frame positions.