MacNeil Bikes

PROJECT DETAILS

Client: World Bicycle Sports (MacNeil Bikes)
Creative Direction: Chris Young

Art Direction: Chris Young
Design: Chris Young + Others
Production: Chris Young + Others

MacNeil Bikes is one of the foremost rider-owned BMX bike companies on the planet. Started by the nine-time world champion professional BMX’er Jay Miron in 2001, MacNeil quickly leapfrogged to the front of the line for innovation in BMX bikes and products. From our warehouse in Burnaby, and with a very motivated and talented group of friends that created a worldwide impact on our industry.

In addition to MacNeil Bikes, our group also ran Ten Pack Distribution, Chase BMX Magazine, the Metro Jam BMX Contest Series, Pivotal Seats and the revolutionary Red Bull ‘Elevation’ Contests that changed BMX dirt contests forever.

I was the Art Director / Designer for MacNeil Bikes from 2002 to 2007. It was an absolutely amazing experience. Working with your friends motivates you to absolutely kill it on every single thing that you did — and we did a lot. We shot our own photos, made our own magazines, made our own tradeshow booths, made full-length action-sport commercially released DVDs, created our own contest series that become legendary, then took that show on the road around the world. Then it became one of the seeder events for the coveted ESPN X-Games contests. We did everything ourselves, and we prided ourselves on just how efficient we could be with our scrappy budgets.

My duties included producing brand identities, catalogues, posters, websites, clothing designs, copywriting and website news updates, in-studio product photography, and much more. I oversaw other designers, worked with vendors and manufacturers locally and in Asia, and worked closely with videographers and producers for our four full-length action-sport commercially released DVDs.

MacNeil Bikes 2007 Catalogue

MacNeil Bikes 2007 catalogue/pull-out poster front.

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce, Chris Young

The 2007 MacNeil Bikes catalogue was designed as an oversize fold-out poster featuring all the products, clothing and team riders on the back. I oversaw the production and worked on many of the product elements on the backside.

MacNeil Bikes 2007 catalogue/poster back with the complete product and clothing line as well as all the team riders.


Detail close-up of the products section: the products ‘colour chips’ are close-ups of the actual products.


Another detail of the products section. I wrote the description for the San to Van video in addition to coming up with the tagline ‘Reality TV that doesn’t suck’.

MacNeil Bikes 2006 Catalogue

Cover and inside spreads of the 2006 MacNeil Bikes catalogue.

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce, Chris Young  |  Production: Chris Young, Harrison Boyce

The 2006 MacNeil Bikes catalogue is the catalogue that almost didn’t happen (see my notes below for more on that). For this catalogue, I oversaw the art direction, design, production and writing and turned it around at a record pace. Juggling content coming in from 3 different continents, turning this 36-page catalogue around over a weekend made for some hectic times, but you’d never really know it by looking at the catalogue. The catalogue showcases all the newest product offerings, an overview of the team, tech specs and international distributor info.

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Catalogue intro spread features Jay Miron riding the Bondi Beach bowl in Australia.


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Intro spread editorial by company owner Jay Miron.


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Products overview intro by product manager Darcy Saccucci.


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Gary Young signature frame overview page.


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Frame specs page featuring Zack Musarsa and international distribution overview page.


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Team overview page featuring photos of all the team riders.


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Team overview page featuring photos of all the team riders.

 

Side notes about this catalogue: The entire catalogue was pulled together in about four days by three people working on three different continents – one person in Taiwan, one person in Hawaii (on vacation), and I was working in Vancouver as the hub. I stayed up for those four days straight, juggling the timezone offsets of my two other contributors, putting my head down on the keyboard and resting my eyes for a few minutes when I could. The products were late coming out of the prototyping factory in Taiwan, so a photo studio was rented in Taipei, where the products were shot, then uploaded to our FTP server, where I’d pull them down and colour-correct products I’d never seen before and went by directions such as “make it redder” and “the teal isn’t teal enough”.

Several hours of text and video-chats were logged throughout the production of the catalogue. As you might imagine, watching somebody sleep during a video-chat is not very interesting, especially when you’re screaming at them and sending repeated international texts to wake up because the catalogue really, really needs to go to the printer ASAP.

After it was finished, the printer had less than 36 hours to turn it around, dropping off the final pieces at my house within 30 minutes of the crew that was driving them, and the trade show booth down to Las Vegas. I slept for two days straight after it was done, then jumped on a plane to meet the crew in Las Vegas, where, you guessed it, I stayed up for another four days straight.

You can flip through this complete catalogue on Issuu.

MacNeil Bikes 2005 Catalogue

The 2005 Product Brochure cover and some inside spreads.

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce  |  Production: Chris Young, Harrison Boyce

The MacNeil Bikes catalogue showcases all the newest product offerings, an overview of the team, tech specs and distributor info. For this year’s catalogue, I oversaw the art direction, design, photography, production and writing.

MacNeil Bikes Ads

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce  |  Production: Chris Young, Harrison Boyce

The MacNeil Bikes catalogue showcases all the newest product offerings, an overview of the team, tech specs and distributor info. For this year’s catalogue, I oversaw the art direction, design, photography, production and writing.

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Double-page spread ad for the new Dave Freimuth signature frame; featuring rider Alistair Whitton.

Ads for MacNeil Bikes, and the MacNeil/SoBe Pro Team, which appeared in about a dozen magazines worldwide such as RideBMX Magazine, Transworld BMX, Dig BMX, RideUK, Cream, Freedom and 20/20.

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Double-page spread ad for the new MacNeil self-titled DVD; featuring riders Axel Jurgens and John Heaton.


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Double-page spread ad for the new Dave Freimuth signature frame; featuring rider Dave Freimuth.


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Double-page spread ad for the new Dave Freimuth signature frame; featuring rider Dave Freimuth.

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The MacNeil Video DVD Packaging

For this project, I designed everything from the ground up. It was the first DVD I’d ever done, so there was lots to learn, particularly when it came to the DVD menus. Shown are the mocked-up dimensional cover, cover, back, and inside of the transparent jewel box, and just the wrap showing both with and without the DVD-Disc mocked into place.

This was the first DVD in the industry to take advantage of translucent plastic jewel case, so it also features graphics and a breakdown of sections and team on the inside of the case.

This was the first DVD in the industry to take advantage of the translucent plastic jewel case, so it also features graphics and a breakdown of sections and team on the inside of the case.


The back of the DVD case features a stack of mini-DV tapes and rolls of film which I composited to make it look like there was a bigger stack.

The back of the DVD case features a stack of mini-DV tapes and rolls of film which I composited to make it look like there was a bigger stack.

I also wrote the summary text that appears on the back of the jewel box: “With a team consisting of the most innovative riders from around the globe, this first video release captures both the diverse talents and friendships that make up the MacNeil Team. I hope it inspires you.”

Main navigation screen for the DVD menus.

Main navigation screen for the DVD menus.

Featuring Full sections from the MacNeil/SoBe Pro Team: Alistair Whitton, Nick Halsey, Dom Mach, John Heaton, Dave Freimuth, Ruben Alcantara, and Jay Miron. Plus, a consolidated section with the MacNeil World Team: Andy Kent, Lee Mellor, Ng Chee Kong, Benny Korthaus, Robin Fenlon, Romauld “Bibi” Noirot, Shoe-G Ueyama, and Axel Jurgens.

Edited by Stew Johnson, DVD menu production and DVD authoring by Joe Simon. Approximate run-time 40 min. (2003)

MacNeil Bikes ‘San to Van’ DVD Packaging

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce

‘San to Van’ is a road-trip video following the MacNeil Bikes pro team’s tour from San Diego, CA, to Vancouver, BC. With injuries plaguing most of the team during the trip, and members flying in and out at different points, this video showcases the fun, friendship, and frustration that happens as they travel north up the I-5 freeway with scheduled stops and demos along the way.

In addition to overseeing the production of the video, case artwork, titling/menus, I also wrote the copy for the DVD jewel box, website, catalogues and any other collateral for promotions. The video was released just as reality TV had really broken through into the mainstream, so I came up with the tag-line ‘Reality TV that doesn’t suck,’ which appears on the 2007 print catalogue/poster and website.

San to Van DVD and the front of the jewel case.


The back of the San to Van jewel case.


Website San To Van Product page screen capture – looking like a pretty 2007 era website!

You can see the extended version of the trailer for the video below.

Edited by Andrew McMullen. Approximate run-time 42 min.

MacNeil Bikes Seat and Seatpost Packaging

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce

The customized seatpost packaging card folds in on itself at the bottom, to create a rigid package that holds the seatpost in place (strapped in with cable ties higher up) and is easy to hang in bike shops.

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MacNeil Bikes seat header card and seatpost card packaging. Die-cut header card folds in half to create a hang tag, stapled to a clear plastic bag that holds the seat.


MacNeil seat packaging

MacNeil Bikes seat header card and seatpost card packaging. Die-cut header card folds in half to create a hang tag, stapled to a clear plastic bag that holds the seat.


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MacNeil Seat Header card, shown both front and back.


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MacNeil Seatpost Package, shown are the package with the post zip-tied on as you’d find it in the store, and then the package by itself with the front and back view.

MacNeil Bikes Hubs Packaging

Art Direction: Chris Young  |  Design: Harrison Boyce

MacNeil Bikes has always taken pride in pushing the boundaries of design in BMX, and we wanted to do something different than just putting the hubs in a standard box. We found a scored transparent plastic substrate that was flexible enough to score/fold, yet holds up to the weight of the product when stacked. With the angled scoring on the substrate, we had to print the graphics on the flat side, which worked out quite well. I oversaw the design and production process for the packaging of the hubs.

Packaging with the hubs in the boxes.


Shown are the empty hub boxes, and with the hubs in the box as they would be shipped.

All work copyright MacNeil Bikes and their respective owners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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