19 ½ x 27 ½ in. (50 x 70 cm)
A Modern Cyclist to Celebrate the Tour de France
In July 2015, the Tour de France, the world-famous cycling race, started its course in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. As part of the many festivities celebrating the Tour’s “Grand Départ,” Menno Anker, an Utrecht-based graphic designer with a life-long passion for cycling, produced this sophisticated and joyful poster honoring both the sport he loves and Utrecht’s distinguished design heritage.
Anker’s design features a cyclist constructed in the manner of De Stijl, the early 20th-century Dutch modernist movement. Anker looked specifically to the work of architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964), one of the most prominent members of De Stijl, who lived and worked in Utrecht. Along with the other De Stijl artists and architects, Rietveld explored an abstract visual language of intersecting planes and primary colors. Rietveld is known in particular for his Red Blue chair of 1918-1923 and for the Utrecht house he designed for the Schröder family. Anker has cleverly applied Rietveld’s modernist design language of flat colored planes to his rendering of a Tour de France cyclist.
Rietveld-Schröder House, Utrecht. Credit: Tom Goossens Photography
Anker has called his cyclist “Rietvelo” — a play on Rietveld and velo, the French word for bicycle. The typography is based on Rietveld's logo for an Utrecht office supplies store.
Anker’s celebratory image was also painted as a large mural on a building along the race route.
Rietvelo is beautifully silkscreened on heavy paper and is signed by the designer.