I was approached to develop a name and branding for a new group based in Lawrence, Kansas, that supports and mentors women through cycling. Proceeds from an annual group ride benefit local women's groups, and a weekly ride nurtures riders through friendship, mutual support and simply being together—on and off the bike.
The mission and vision were clear, but the sky was the limit on developing a name and a brand that connected to women. Work primarily would focus on a logo, a photoshoot, a website landing page, social media channels, post cards and flyers for the annual ride event, and apparel.
The client developed a series of keywords (strong, independent, beautiful, empowered, confident, honored, joyful, supportive, uplifting) that set a strong foundation for developing a name for the group. The Spanish word "velas," which means "candles," quickly rose to the top as I brainstormed. The idea of illumination and being a source of inspiration for others resonated with the group's mission.
From the rationale:
Candles are symbols of celebration and commemoration, of light over dark.
They mark rites of passage and are expressions of love and unity.
They are delicate, yet powerful. They are silent, yet magnetic. They are beautiful and uplifting.
A collection of candles is a moving sight, but even a single candle has the power to focus and transform your spirit.
The word "velas" also has a phonetic similarity to the French word "le vélo," which is shorthand among cyclists for “bike.”
Art direction, naming & design // Chris Ralston    Photography // Chris Ralston & Jon Hardesty

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