July 24, 2014

Seattle’s City Helmet Is Bold and Simple

It’s almost here! Oregon Manifest has five design teams competing in five cities to design the perfect urban bike, and tomorrow, Friday, July 25th, is the day that five celebrational parties in those five cities will reveal the winner of the competition.

(The cities: New York, Portland, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco.)

In the meantime, just as exciting has been the collaboration Oregon Manifest has done with Artcrank and Nutcase in the City Helmet series project: five Artcrank artists in those five cities have had their way with Nutcase helmets.

The result? Fresh inspiration to go for a ride, we think.


The next-to-last City Helmet artist in the series is from Seattle, and his  name is Ellis Latham-Brown. A graphic designer, Latham-Brown also created The Young Men’s Danger Club – a multi-disciplinary design firm in which he and a rescue dog named Rosie are the only current club members.

Latham-Brown views effective design as stemming from a simple idea, coupled with a strong sense of craftmanship, and then enlivened with what he calls ‘a pinch of color voodoo’.


He views the helmet he created for the series as reflecting his ideas on Seattle’s biking scene:

“Seattle is a city rich in bike culture. Every cyclist has to deal with one brutal thing – hills. Seattle is also notorious for being dingy and grey – this could not be further from the truth. Seattle is rich in bright color, so I wanted to show that – simple typography with a cheeky name to represent Seattle cyclists.”


Here’s Latham-Brown’s illustration of a funky bike polo player.

To view Latham-Brown’s creation video of the Seattle helmet, click here.

To see the other three hand-painted artists’ helmets created for this series, just click here, here, and here.

Four revealed, one to go! Stay tuned for our round up of the Oregon Manifest city bike design winner as well as a peak at the final in the City Helmet series next week.