Pink Passion – Illustrating 100 Giro jerseys

When we spoke to Beach just as this year’s Giro was getting going, he described himself as “a massive Quintana fan” but you suspect he would not have begrudged Dumoulin the maglia rosa. For one thing, with Nairo having won with the same team in 2014, it meant a completely new jersey to add to the poster. From Luigi Ganna in 1909 to Lo Squalo last year, through Coppi, Merckx, Gimondi and so many great champions, the poster is a fascinating study of the history of the Giro.


Beach’s affection for the race, as well as his understanding of it, is evident in the work. It is a deeply human piece, with every stroke of brush and pen clearly coming from the hand rather than the computer.


As a result, compared to the poster he produced for the Tour de France, in which each button and badge was meticulously and consistently depicted, the Giro jerseys have been captured in an illustrative, almost impressionistic style.


Riders who’ve ridden both regularly talk about the atmosphere and the organisation at the Giro as being far more relaxed than the Tour, and Beach speaks similarly of his approach to designing the poster: ”I knew when I was doing the Tour one, that people would pore over every detail, whereas this one I didn’t feel the pressure.” Giro fans, he feels, “are more forgiving.”


It’s not that he paid less attention to the details but that he granted himself licence to “evade” those he deemed to add little to the design. Secondary sponsors, entirely absent early on but increasingly common from the 80s onwards, he opted to leave off altogether, while primary logos he decided to only represent in black and white.


Similarly, he says, “I’ve used a pretty limited colour palette. I made a couple of exceptions towards the end, but until you get to about 2005 I basically only used five or six colours: one red, one green, a couple of blues, a grey. So while I’ve not been directly faithful to the colours of the shirt, it just makes it look better as a piece of artwork.”


We think it’s pretty special too.


Buy the Giro 100 Maglie print by Beach here

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