5 tips for designing your own cycling jersey

Back in May, Computer Arts magazine teamed up with bespoke performance cyclewear brand Milltag to bring you the chance to design your very own cycling jersey.

The rules were simple: Milltag supplied the template, and you could design whatever you liked, bearing in mind that the successful creation would also be transferred onto a cap and bib shorts.

One lucky Computer Arts or Creative Bloq reader is now set to receive a copy of their own jersey.

The design will also be included in the 2016 Milltag collection – alongside the brand's fine heritage of creative collaborations with talented studios and artists around the world – with the designer retaining IP and receiving a royalty for every one sold.

Congratulations Paul Allen

We received an overwhelming amount of entries from readers all around the world, but only one could be put into production…

Congratulations Paul Allen! (If you weren't successful, check out Milltag's tips below for designing the perfect jersey.)

Milltag say: "It's a design that we wish we had thought of. A simple concept, well executed. Primary colours, tyre treads on black – what's not to love. We look forward to finalising the design with matching bibs and cap ready for Spring 2016."

If you'd like to be the first to order, or for more information on the jersey, email: info@milltag.cc

Notable entries

The shortlist contained a number of fantastic designs. Here are four that the judges – Milltag head honchos Ed Cowburn and Pete Kelsey, Creative Bloq commissioning editor Julia Sagar, Computer Arts editor Nick Carson and art editor Jo Gulliver – particularly liked.

Here's what the judges had to say – clockwise from top-left:

  • Tiffany Cromwell: Paper crane repeat pattern very well executed from a name you may recognise.
  • Venla Hulkko: Geometric organised chaos and a cool, calming colour palette.
  • Nathalie Devillers: Deconstructed argyle that creates a strong – and visible – graphical look.
  • Darren Gate: A strong graphical style that nicely visualises bicycle components, while suggesting movement.

How to design the perfect jersey

Two artist-Milltag collaborations: JBG by graphic designer Jamie Banks-George, and Eyes by illustrator Sam Dunn

Two artist-Milltag collaborations: JBG by graphic designer Jamie Banks-George, and Eyes by illustrator Sam Dunn

Designing a cycling jersey isn't easy. They're 3D, for a start – with seams, stitching, zips, pockets and fabric restrictions to work your design around.

Here are five tips from Milltag founders Ed Cowburn and Pete Kelsey for designing the perfect cycling jersey…

01. Nail your concept

Successful jersey ideas have a clear concept that could, if necessary, run perfectly onto a pair of bib shorts and a cap to complete the look.

02. Consider the jersey as a whole

Remember: you're not simply designing a T-shirt and plonking a logo or pattern on the front or back

03. Think about all angles

The best ones work because the designer has thought about how the jersey looks from all angles and how colour and patterns flow.

04. Allow movement across these seams

Trying to match patterns across the body panels – chest, back and sides – is easy. However, from the body to the sleeves and collar it's a lot harder, so either avoid this area or create a pattern that's abstract enough to accommodate a bit of movement across these seams, without ruining the overall look.

05. Check the colour on the fabric

The key thing here is you should always try and see the colour on the fabric before starting full production. That's why we have a full Pantone blanket of each fabric we use so that we can choose colours with confidence.

A huge thanks to everyone who took the time to design their perfect jersey. And if you'd like to get hold of Paul's successful design, email info@milltag.cc for more details.

Milltag was launched by Cowburn and Kelsey, two London-based graphic designers with a passion for life in the saddle, in 2010. Unable to find a jersey that wasn’t plastered in sponsors’ logos or simply generic, the pair began creating their own designs and collaborating with global artists to produce high quality technical cycle-wear with personality.

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Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.