Monday, April 4, 2016

Women Involved Series: Phoebe Cornog


I'm currently working as a graphic designer for Electra Bicycle Company. I design everything from the fender graphics for our fashion bikes to our socks and t-shirts. It's an exciting environment to work in. The range in products is huge and challenges me as a designer. I designed and created two large murals for Electra this year, and those were definitely my favorite projects. I'm finding that I'm becoming very interested in installation design and environmental graphics.

Some challenges working at Electra are designing products that sell in a bike shop. Bike shops are not frequented by many other people than avid cyclists. 


Our product is not used by avid cyclists but more for people who just want to get on a bike to relax and cruise. This brings up a larger discussion. Why is cycling such an elitist sport? Running has gone mainstream. Everyone owns a pair of sneakers. What makes cycling so intimidating? The clicky shoes? This is a hard aspect of my job at Electra and something that I am continuing to explore.

In terms of my own athletic career, I have halted training for races because I am focusing on my career. All of my extra time goes in to designing and I'm not really interested in paying $300 for triathlons anymore. However, I'm still a big runner. It's been fun working in Encinitas, because my coworkers and I will go on runs along the coast during our lunch hour. My favorite is running on the beach during low tide.

Check out Phoebe's On Bikes ('14) interview!

When we first connected you were just starting at Electra, how has the job been going and what are you loving about it?
Electra is great. I have learned so much about the action sports industry. I also love that I have been able to explore a lot of styles in my illustration/graphic work.

What has been the most fun thing you've designed so far? Or which design are you most proud of?
Well, it's always cool seeing your artwork on a fender. I designed two kids bikes that have ice cream sandwiches, cones, popsicles all over them. Those are super cute and were fun to do! Most recently though, I painted a massive mural at our headquarters. I'm really proud of that because I designed and painted it mostly on my own. There's something about creating something larger than life that gets my adrenaline going.

Being involved with a bike brand that is geared towards casual cycling- what do you try to do on your end make it feel more down to earth for the casual cyclist?
Everything from the designs of the frames to the padding in the saddles is tailored for the casual cyclist.
The best selling bike in America is our Townie and its because the ladies' frame is step through, so you can get on and off really easily. It also has flat foot technology, so that you can always be sitting upright.

Having had a bit of competitive cycling in the past (Triathlons) was the switch to a casual cycling company hard at first or did it feel natural?
It felt natural. It's definitely a different vibe but I find it to be more fun. It's not a pretentious atmosphere, definitely very welcoming, which is something I think the competitive cycling industry needs to work on.

What do you feel the industry could do to make cycling feel more inclusive vs. exclusive?
Color and texture could help a lot. People are intimidated by black spandex. It sounds silly, but it's true. Also, just supporting more brands like Electra, which feature cycling as a leisure activity rather than strictly exercise.

Why do you enjoy being involved with the cycling industry? What has been the most rewarding aspect?
I enjoy the challenge of getting more people on bikes. America is really lame in comparison to rest of the world in that way. Nobody bikes here like they do in Europe. I feel that being a part of an industry that is essentially making the world greener and healthier is rewarding.

Why do you feel more women should become involved in the cycling industry?
More women can be more involved in most industries. Why not?

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling?
Like I said before, cycling is intimidating. You need black spandex everything and clicky shoes. Why would that sound exciting to anyone?

What do you feel could happen industry-wise to encourage more women to be involved with cycling?
Bringing more color in to the sport the way running has would be a great start. Strides are being made but there is still more that can be done. Bicycle retailers need to step it up.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
They'd get mad street cred. Seriously, it's great exercise and saves gas!

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I started a lettering club this summer. Follow us on Instagram @sandiegoletters !

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