As you would expect Shaun was born in 1961 in Te Kinga, New Zealand. He was drawn to art, design, calligraphy, music and sports as a kid, then he went to high school in the United States for a year where he continued his art studies focussing on printmaking. Next step was Polytech, studying Graphic Design at Auckland Technical Institute for 3 years full time. After graduating he was drawn to the Advertising business working in Auckland, Christchurch, Hong Kong and Reykjavik as an Art Director, typographer and studio production artist.


A spread from the 1996 Surface Active mail order teeshirt catalogue featuring the popular Jewelled Gecko design.

Screenprinting had been a passion since he had been enthused by it at school and taken it up as a hobby as a teen.

Returning to Christchurch after their O.E. he and his partner Chrissie Terpstra launched a design and screenprinting firm called Surface Active (Art to Wear). They employed 2 screen gems to share the screenprinting art work, and also very impressive individuals in high trust sales roles.

Chrissie Terpstra & Deborah McDonald screen printing the 8th colour of the Jewelled Gecko Design. Along with Chrissie & Deborah, Alan Cook & Lorelei Jenner were the highly valued crew of Surface Active hand pulled screenprinters. All printing was done in-house.

Screenprinting is the people’s art and the medium of the workingman artist. It is the platform from which artists can earn renown without a big budget or the backing of a gallery or patron. In the consumer era of mass production, the handmade is precious.

Weekends were retailing at the Christchurch Arts Centre Market and winters were for touring the length and breadth of the country to sell at The Great New Zealand Craft Show.

Shaun enjoyed co-creating with Chrissie Terpstra as design pARTners, hand drawing wildlife art in various natural media; charcoal pencil, pen and ink, cut and paste collage, woodcuts… not on a computer.

As well as time at the drawing board and Wacom tablet he valued being hands-on with the squeegees, in sales, marketing, and all the pre-press and print production required to translate layered multicolour artwork to reproduce beautifully on tees. On the marketing side for each summer season he and Chrissie designed and produced a mail order catalogue that doubled as a mailout to their retailers around the country and their domestic and international customer database. 

Shaun saw the digital design writing on the wall when he wrote his Graphic Design Diploma thesis “Computers and Design” in 1983, so in 1995 he leapt at the chance of owning his first PowerMac. It was self-evident that to continue to develop a career in graphic design it was essential to re-educate himself in the Creative Suite, digital pre-press and web design. Freelancing from Surface Active’s studio developed his multi-disciplinary digital design and production skills.

MTC equipment 2016 A4 brochure cover, hand held mock up, photorealistic visual

MTC’s Print and Web design create a seamless brand presence, their rename and rebrand made a mark in the Agricultural and Road Transport industries. With strong images and type the direct mail rebrand launch brochure is eye-catching and memorable.

In 1998 he became a shareholder and in-house designer for a Christchurch dotcom Digital Proofing startup company, AbsoluteProof, a part-time role he worked in until 2009. This lead him to freelance for several Christchurch technology startups involved in the local “incubator programme” also known as the technology barbecue, creating logos, identities and branding.

Myopace Electromyograph brochure. a5 bifold.

Myopace EMG capabilities brochure for Rob Glassey of Niche Technology. Glassey’s electromyograph and bundled monitoring software was one of the founding startups involved with establishing the Christchurch “tech barbecue” incubator group in the late 90s.

2002 saw Shaun & Chrissie wind up their teeshirt screenprinting firm and Shaun took up a position as Creative Director/Mac production artist at a start-up Christchurch Brand Management studio.

Having helped grow Tattoo from a 2 to a 6 person studio, at the end of 2004 he took up a position as inhouse designer for the Trans-Tasman Private Aviation, Air Touring and Affluent Travel firm Pionair. He enjoyed working inhouse for a diversified growing company in Australia and New Zealand tremendously. His role at Pionair included Digital Photography. This demand for professional photography reignited Shaun‘s enthusiasm and his adept and cost-effective photography has become one of the services that contributes most to the distinction of MagentaDot Brands’ work today.

Composite air-to-air image of Pionair Australia’s Convair VH-PDV sporting her new fluid livery.

Composite air-to-air image of Pionair Australia’s Convair VH-PDV sporting her new fluid livery.

It was a bad day for Pionair in October 2008 when their Private Air Charter operations in Australia was hit hard by the Global Financial Collapse. All their contracts with the mining industry were scrapped in one fell swoop and the firm was wound up less than 12 months later as a consequence. Out of that crisis, and with the support of Pionair and a set of loyal clients, sprang the original idea for establishing MagentaDot Brands which he has been developing since May 2009.

“Craft” means you care and you know about what you are doing.Shaun has won a few awards over the years, including a bronze Axis award for typography and a brace of coveted Pride in Print Golds for design, print finishing and print production. His design career has spanned Art Direction for the very largest advertising firms in New Zealand and abroad, to operating as a one-person multi-disciplinary studio and working as a craft screenprinter with his partner and inspiration, Chrissie.

Photorealistic mockup of front of Bionona business card, 3 colour offset

When the Bionona identifier and logotype are used together they create a strong signature for the company. The logo design is an infographic symbol of a snip of genetic code from one of Bionona’s novel peptides.

At MagentaDot brands I am always striving to produce the best advertising, graphic design, websites, photographs and conceptual collateral pieces money can buy. And these days I am well aware you want your communications to work hard. As hard as, let’s say, this website. So to see more proof have look around, or just call me at; +64 21 067 6176. Or email

©magentadot brands

Advertising, Copywriting, Graphic design, Illustration, Logo

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