"Pump pedals, not gas," is an endeavor in propaganda aimed at increasing bicycle usage on and around the Brown University campus. The posters and stickers are computer printed hand drawn and lettered images which were digitally scanned and arranged in Adobe Photoshop. The posters were placed on the back of signs marking campus parking lots, and the stickers were stuck in public spaces like bicycle racks and street signs.
Riding a bicycle instead of a car is a relatively simple lifestyle choice that can carry with it many positive ramifications both politically and personally. This campaign focuses on increasing the positive effects that cycling offers as a clean form of transportation. The more bicycles are ridden, the less cars are used, the less oil is used, the better condition the environment is in, the less the United States needs to invade countries for foreign oil, etc, etc.
I have seen and participated in other pro-bicycle protests and campaigns. Many of these revolve around and play off of the antagonistic nature developed between bicycles and automobiles as a result of sharing tightly packed urban streets. Critical Mass rides have developed an infamous reputation of hooliganry and sometimes violent riders, and many sticker campaigns reflect the same emotions, e.g. CarsRCoffins. I wanted to create a campaign aimed at both cyclists and drivers alike. I tried to create an image and slogan that are fun and non-aggressive, but still advocate taking action. I didn't want it to be violently anti-car, but to remind everyone of the bicycle as a viable alternative. The goal is to create a larger cycling community, not distance the cycling community farther from the automobile community. Besides, many people own both a car and a bicycle. My other goals in brainstorming the image and slogan were to create a pairing that lends itself easily to other media, like stickers and t-shirts. I tried to create something similar to Soviet propaganda materials with a well thought-out and designed poster containing a simple and straightforward message to effectively reach the largest audience. Part of my inspiration for this project was a quote from H.G. Wells, "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race."