Amusing musettes from UK-based Progress Packaging

Published:  June 23, 2014

To celebrate the Grand Départ this year in Yorkshire, a collection of cycling musettes from leading designers and illustrators were curated and produced by UK-based packaging specialists, Progress Packaging. Each musette is 300 x 360mm, screen printed with black ink on custom dyed yellow cotton featuring an embroidered tag and internal pocket. Each musette offers a unique interpretation of cycling history, as well as the cultures of France and Northern England.

M/M Paris

L’aM/Musette, became a contraction of two French words — l’amusement and the acronym M/M, which stands for Michaël and Mathias. For those of us who have departed from the years of secondary school French, a musette is best recognised as the typical bag swung across the shoulder of cyclists. As l’amusement means to amuse, the word becomes a neologism that translates the exuberant joy that accompanies the Tour de France. On this musette we see an amusing “promenade of two agents (the two graphic stylised characters), on a tandem, on a yellow bag, swinging on the back of a cyclist who will travel in July 2014 across England and France dreaming of wearing a yellow jersey top on the Champs Élysées.”

M_M-Paris-2 M_M-Paris-1


An interpretation of movement and mechanics, “the design takes inspiration from cycling iconography. We’ve highlighted the form and individuality that different handlebars have, and reappropriated them into abstract patterns. Seeing the objects like this, each set takes on its own distinctive character.”

Assembly-2 Assembly-1


As the sporting world becomes evermore synonymous with global brand names slapped on athletes like bumper stickers, the studio were “inspired by sponsored Tour musettes from the 1950s” featuring “who would have been a likely sponsor 100 years ago (as shown in the photograph) — the ‘energy drink’ de rigeur: Vin de Coca. ‘For body and brain. Nourishes, fortifies, refreshes. Strengthens entire system; most agreeable. Effective and lasting renovator of vital forces.’ Not surprising, it contained cocaine.”

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Irving & Co with John Broadley

Probing the celebrity culture that arrives with the globally renowned race, “Julian Roberts took to the role of ‘Directeurs Sportifs’ and teamed up with long-term collaborator, the esteemed John Broadley (himself a son of Huddersfield). The outcome celebrates the Yorkshire-born cycling legend Fred Crowther, aka ‘The Whippet’. The humble son of Dodthwaite pie-maker Arthur Crowther, Fred was famed for his dogged determination and ability in the sprint which won the hearts of cycling enthusiasts throughout Europe.”

Irving-Co-with-John-Broadley-1 Irving-Co-with-John-Broadley-2

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