Rapha x Commercial Type at the Spring Classics

SPORT | 30 JUNE 2022
Frame at the Tour of Flanders, 2 April 2022. Eventual winner Mathieu van der Poel of the Alpecin–Fenix team crests the Oude Kwaremont. © Kristof Ramon
Frame Italic and Caslon Doric Condensed Text on the Oude Kwaremont at the Tour of Flanders.
Frame Bold on the Oude Kwaremont at the Tour of Flanders.
The Caslon Doric Condensed Text umbrella at the Tour of Flanders.
Fan favourite and breakaway specialist, Taco van der Hoorn of Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert leads the race on the Oude Kwaremont at the Tour of Flanders.
Frame Italic on the Oude Kwaremont at the Tour of Flanders.
Caslon Doric Condensed Text on the Oude Kwaremont at the Tour of Flanders.


The Tour de France may be the biggest race in the cycling year, but the heart and soul of the sport are the Spring Classics. The Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) and the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix are beloved by fans and athletes. This is where legends are born.

   The richness of these events is a combination of athletic performance, brutal courses and the passion, and fervour of the fans. Thousands and thousands gather by the roadside what ever the conditions are to celebrate the sport at its purest. The most dedicated hold aloft signs proclaiming love of teams, of individuals (a mix between those competiting, friends and loved ones), causes and of course regional pride shown most prominently by the Flandrian Lion. But it is also an advertisers dreams; getting your name in front of a captive TV audience. For years and years a small Belgian business Dirk Hofman Motorhomes could be seen at every race advertising their business and gaining a cult like following amongst the fans.

   Inspired by these forms of marketing, Matt Tucker, head of Brand Design and Andy Edwards at Rapha came up with a series of eye catching placards for these two races. Promoting Frame and Caslon Doric, their two brand fonts, they drew a mixture of admiration and quizzical bemusement at two key points of the race. 

   For Frame, a modern serif based on the Caslon model, which in turn was a copy of the faces of the low countries, and the ‘Dutch’ style, it was a return to its spiritual home. Both the races and the typefaces are documented in a series of specimens and posters available from Commercial Type. 



Frame at the feared Trouée d'Arenberg as Italian Filippo Ganna of Team Ineos puts down the power in the 2022 edition of Paris-Roubaix. Photo © Sirotti Photo Agency.
Frame Italic awaiting its moment at Paris-Roubaix.
Frame Italic greets the riders on the Trouée d'Arenberg at Paris-Roubaix.
The Caslon Doric umbrella offers shade on a sunny and warm 2022 edition of Paris-Roubaix
Caslon Doric Condensed Text on the Trouée d'Arenberg at Paris-Roubaix.
Frame vs Luc van Steenberge as Andrea Pasqualon of Intermarche - Wanty Goberton leads Mike Teunissen of Jumbo-Visma along the cobbled section of the Trouée d'Arenberg at Paris-Roubaix.
Frame Italic captured on TV screens on GCN/Eurosport coverage of the 2022 edition of Paris-Roubaix



Documenting the concept is this 16 page full colour booklet available in limited numbers.
Also available is the 32 page black and white ‘Tour de Type’ specimen designed by Jack Saunders, the then Brand Design Director at Rapha and team in 2018.