Selle Royal launches UP saddle art project to incite change on five social issues
Commissions 25 internationally renowned illustrators, just three of each
design to be produced
Selle Royal has commissioned leading comic artists, product designers, graphic illustrators and animators from across Europe and America to create an exclusive set of 25 saddle-based artworks.
The 25 artworks are the first in an annual non-profit initiative that seeks to raise awareness of key societal issues. Just three of each striking design will be made, each signed by the artist.

The artworks follow five themes, the first series of five saddles to be announced is ‘Love Today’ and will be launched on Valentine’s Day the 14th February.

The additional four series will celebrate International Women’s Day (8th March)Earth Day (22nd April)Bike to Work Day (US) (15th May) and Children’s Day (1st June), with the respective aims of promoting equality and environmental responsibility, and raising awareness around the issues of obesity and child poverty.

Monica Savio of Selle Royal said: “We have always strived to be an ethical company and believe that cycling and art can be powerful forces for change in the world. The chosen themes reflect this, with the first being about overcoming adversity and coming together to strive for a fairer, less divided world.

To help promote discussion on these issues, Selle Royal will make just one of each saddle available to the public via a free-to-enter social media competition; using the hashtags #sUPportProject #Lovetoday, with entrants encouraged to give examples of adversity in their life or how they overcame it.

Of the additional two saddles in each design, one will be given to the artists, and the final one will be used as museum exhibits, both in Italy and internationally – the tour’s details will be announced at a later date.

The five themes were chosen in a vote of Selle Royal employees, selecting global issues that concerned and motivated them most.

The five artists that contributed to the Valentine’s Day collection are the internationally renowned pop-culture illustrator Ale Giorgini, gothic artist OniBaka, cartoonist and illustrator Alberto Corradi, illustration specialist David Sossella, and the NBA illustrator Francesco Poroli, whose commissions have appeared in the New York Times and Il Sole 24 Ore. Collectively their works have been exhibited in many of the major modern-art galleries around Europe, North America and Asia.

Hannes Pasqualini, a graphic designer and illustrator who created a design for the Bike Passion theme described the saddle and its ridges and dips as an unusual canvas to work with: “Applying a way to work two-dimensionally to a three-dimensional object was a challenge from a technical-realisation point of view.

Matteo Cuccato, artist and project leader explained the process: “Aside from selecting the illustrators and the saddle template, we gave the artists free reign to express themselves as they saw fit, with preferred techniques and styles, using the saddle as a blank canvas.”

“Despite coming from very different backgrounds, the artists have really thrown themselves into this project and the causes behind it, bringing these abstract concepts into stunning and truly original works of art.

Each of these first five works have been created using Selle Royal’s Look IN Moderate saddle.

The Look IN Moderate saddle uses a Royalgel padding that flexes and reacts to reduce pressure peaks by up to 40 percent. It is shaped to distribute weight more comfortably for commuters and leisure riders that use an intermediate riding position.

About Selle Royal
Selle Royal has been a world-leading bicycle saddle brand for over 50 years. Our history is one of continuous innovation built on research, technology, and advanced design. Selle Royal exports to over 70 countries worldwide and is the choice of many important and prestigious bicycle manufacturers. Our saddles have won numerous design awards and are today the subject of scientific research in the bio-engineering laboratories of major European Universities.
About Project UP
Project UP is a non-profit initiative to bring attention to key societal issues, including – equality, environmental responsibility, obesity and poverty. Launched in 2015, the inaugural project brought together 25 leading illustrators and graphic artists specialising in animation, comics and graffiti to create five series of saddle-based artworks. Just three of each design were made and all given away to fans, the artists, and to museum exhibits.
How we made UP: video with artist interviews
Hand sewn – UP Project artists watch as the Selle Royal’s factory staff hand sew the designs to the saddles