12th April 2022

Ventoux 1911 – design notes

T-lab t-shirts have a tendency to look a little bit different. It’s a deliberate part of our design approach, using graphic design to tell a story in a way that is distinctive and eye-catching

We’re often asked where we get our ideas from and to be honest its not always easy to put into words. But by breaking down the design into separate elements we can at least start to explain the process…

Climbing Mont Ventoux on a bike is a big task, so we thought we’d start with a big arrow, pointing uphill. The arrow dominates the design and leaves no doubt about the scale of the task – this is about heading upwards.

The large letter V inside the arrow helps to break up the flat print area and also opens up an opportunity for the arrow to be used for other climbs on future t-shirts.

The blue, white and red circles suggest the French flag, without actually being a flag, and their lighter rounded shapes contrast nicely with the large monolithic arrow.

Then we added the name and, prominently the height of the mountain, because climbing to 1911 metres on a bike is something to be proud of.

Then we added the cyclist, positioned at the bottom of the arrow with a steep climb in front of them.

Colours? We needed to have mid-blue, white and red if we were to show the French flag – all colours that sit well on a navy background. Navy blue is a versatile colour, it always seems to make everything look that little bit smarter, and as we know navy t-shirts are very popular with or customers – navy it was. We made the big arrow into a pale blue/grey instead of white, which knocks it back slightly and stops it from dominating too much.

Having got all our design elements there’s still the task of bringing them all together into a single design – in the case of this Ventoux design items are sized, coloured and positioned in a structured but off-centred way to suggest energy and movement.

So that’s it. As touched upon earlier, its not really possible to describe the design process completely accurately – some things are just intuitive – but by breaking it down into different elements at least we can give an outline view of how it happened.

You can see our Ventoux 1911 t-shirt here and our original Ventoux shirt here.