Rapha Performance Roadwear | June 21, 2004

Main Rapha branding image

[Update] The phase 3 site has just launched, so feel free to drop by an get some great quality cycling wear.

The Rapha website is one of a couple of new websites I've been working on at message over the last few months. The site is being rolled out in phases and this is the phase two launch. Phase one was a cut-down "teaser" version of the site. The current phase is going to be very similar to the final incarnation, but lacks the ability to buy the products online. Finally, in a few weeks time we'll be adding in the custom made e-commerce component and the site will officially launch.

As you can probably tell, Rapah design, manufacture and sell premium cycling cloathing. Their brand was lot's of fun to work with, being both modern, yet heavily influenced by the the golden days of road racing. I'm particularly impressed with the photography which has a loverly, classy retro feel about it. The design was very much a collaborative effort between Message and Rapha. They came to us with a clear idea about design, and our job was to help them translate these ideas into a workable website.

Due to the nature of the market, it was decided that it would attract a high proportion of people using broadband, hence the high quality branding images. The site was also designed primarily for modern browsers, although it's been tested (visually at least) via browsercam. The sites been through a number of changes over the last few months, so the CSS is currently a little unorganised. However on the whole I'm pretty pleased with the result. The phase two launch is really a beta release so there are bound to be a few quirks. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, please feel free to email me and let me know.

Posted at June 21, 2004 9:17 AM


Ilija said on June 21, 2004 10:07 AM

Realy nice one.

Best looking pages: Service and Abouth Rapha.

Can anybody buy me that Citroën van??? Please :)

DH said on June 21, 2004 11:04 AM

I love the Rapha site. Beautiful.

Being a new-ish designer, I’m curious about how a project like this works. Were you able to choose the images yourself (they’re stunning and are such an important part of the design that it must help to have some control over which images are used)? How long ago did you receive the design brief for this project?

Anyway - it’s a lovely site, congratulations with it.


MaThIbUs said on June 21, 2004 2:02 PM

Great design. I never saw pink look so good.

soxiam said on June 21, 2004 2:39 PM

Nice work, Andy. As a web designer and an avid cyclist hooked on retro-fashion cycling wear, RAPHA was a pleasure to visit. Well done.

Gilbert Lee said on June 21, 2004 2:57 PM

Simply beautiful. I like how you had the “More Pictures” link on the picture of the about page of each product. It’s one page with all the pictures that I want to see. That’s a usable feature. Great job!

How said on June 21, 2004 3:42 PM

Fantastic. As you say, retro feel photography is perfect for a road racing site. And I have a new hero:

In the 1977 Dauphiné Libéré, Bernard Hinault was an emerging talent when he misjudged a descent and plunged into a ravine. The French TV audience had every reason to assume he was at the bottom, his back broken. But the fearless Hinault climbed out, mounted a spare bike and rejoined the chase. He won the stage and went on to win the race - a legend.

Makes cycling through central London every day seem mundane ;)
Great work.

Allen said on June 21, 2004 3:49 PM

Really nice use of the Mondrain style for layout — spells class all the way. I’m not a cyclist, but the site sure make me want to buy their stuff.

Marc said on June 21, 2004 4:47 PM

Its a beaut, Andy.
I particularly like the way that what appears at first to be a greyscale colour scheme with splashes of pink, on closer inspection contains subtle variations on grey. And its fast to load too (on a crappy dial-up in Italy)
Award yourself a cigar.

Jon Hicks said on June 21, 2004 5:21 PM

Sweet work Andy! I love the use of imagery and muted colours - it has an American feel to it.

Jim said on June 21, 2004 6:02 PM

Very nice. I’m curious, was it difficult to convince the company about using pink?

Andy Budd said on June 21, 2004 10:11 PM

Thanks for all the great comments. I’d love to take credit for the design but I’m afraid that on this occasion I was simply the code monkey. The design was very much a collaborative effort between Message and Rapha. They came to us with a clear idea about design (including the use of pink), and our job was to help them translate these ideas into a workable website.

Kevin said on June 22, 2004 3:09 AM

Very nice work, I really love the B & W images and the typography overlaying them. One note, on http://www.rapha.cc/features/ the second images down of the bicyclist with the crossed arms needs a little polishing. There are a few white pixels around the edges (look at the ear and neck) that detract from the overall look and quality of it. It’s nitpicking, but I really like the site and little details like that bug me.

Egor Kloos said on June 22, 2004 3:01 PM

Hey man, stop making all this cool shit. I’m starting to feel slightly inferior! :)

That Guy said on June 22, 2004 7:52 PM

Nice work. It’s hard to get pink to look cool unless you’re a girl, but you did a fine job to get it to mix just right with the greys.

Neko said on June 23, 2004 11:37 PM

That’s beautiful. O_O

Makes me want to buy all the items in catalog. And I even don’t own a bicycle anymore.