“Print is dead” gets said often enough you’d think the industry is actually six feet under an unmarked grave. But every time someone says it, another well-designed magazine finds its way. Five years ago, that was Meta — a triannual publication founded by motorcycle-industry veterans Andrew Campo and Ben Giese, who just opened a retail shop that doubles as a creative coworking space in Denver, Colorado.
Campo is the founder of Vurbmoto, a highly influential platform in the motocross space, and Giese was the lead graphic designer at DC Shoes. The pair created Meta out of a shared passion for two-wheeled culture. As Giese puts it, they “saw a void in the print world,” one that was ripe for smart, elevated motorcycle coverage. “I was very immersed in skateboarding and surfing, and I saw publications coming out those cultures focused on quality, design, and photography,” he says. “At the time that’s something the motorcycle industry was lacking.”[embedded content]
In addition to narrative stories, the Meta website houses awe-inspiring short films and videos, like Little Monster, a story about eight-year-old Kelana Humphrey and his journey from growing up around mechanics and motorcycle riders in Indonesia to racing dirtbikes in California. Sure, the stories are motorcycle-centric, but you don’t have to ride dirtbikes or know anything about motorcycles to appreciate the content.
Telling stories isn’t the only objective of Meta. “Our goal with Meta is to blur the lines between all genres of motorcycling and celebrate what we call ‘a life well ridden,’” Campo says. Hence the new HQ in Denver — a red brick walled half-motorcycle garage, half-cafe in the middle of the River North Arts District of Denver, where Meta plans to bring the two-wheeled community together.
The Denver flagship isn’t just a place where Campo and Giese can ride their bikes, write stories and cut video footage. They plan to open up the shop for events, gatherings, community rides and anything else to increase the culture’s inclusiveness. “It’s meant to be an extension of the book,” Giese says. “It’s a place where you can just hang out. You don’t even have to ride motorcycles.”