Screenshot of the header of the Surface Active Teespring store. A selection of four Adelie penguins, Antarctica products are featured below.

Surface Active Artwear Teespring store pops-up

April 2020
Dear Surface Dweller,

We’re excited to announce our fab Surface Active TeeSpring store has popped up! Our Surface Active Artwear celebrates some of the beautiful assets of New Zealand. Please pause & peruse our first two designs over at Teespring—Adelie penguins and Tuatara.

Adelie penguins, Antarctica

from Surface Active

Noisy, stinky & aggressive in reality but ain’t they cute? This design is a chuckle with penguins coming & going on the front and back. By the magic of art the white cotton of a plain teeshirt is transformed into Antarctic sea ice so this design is available on white only.

White teeshirt for sale with an all-over print of Adelie penguins coming toward you on the front, going away on the back

This crazy design is printed both front…

White teeshirt for sale with an all-over print of Adelie penguins coming toward you on the front, going away on the back

and back.

This imagery tells a tale of a dramatic before and after scene that unfolded when this formation of hungry Adelie penguins hesitated near the edge of the Antarctic sea ice, then they were suddenly faced with a leopard seal on the prowl in the waters just below.

This Adelie penguin all-over print, is available here for AUD$53.12


Credits


Design firm: Surface Active
Art direction: Design pARTners, Chrissie Terpstra and Shaun Waugh
Client: Surface Active
Designer, illustrator, desktop publishing: Shaun Waugh


©magentadot brands

‘Paua Aotearoa’, adults and kids T-shirt, four colour print on navy and black fabric.

Surface Active: Making waves in a sea of sameness

T-shirts in the spirit of fun.

Surface Active made in Aotearoa, T-shirts main neck label.

Surface Active T-shirts main neck label.

As an illustrative graphic designer, writer, desktop publisher; I was a design pARTner with Chrissie Terpstra in our in-house garment screenprinting studio. We learned that hand-pulled screenprinting is the medium of the hard labouring graphic artist.

Overview

Of course we were big fans of the humble T-shirt and by the mid 1980s they had become hot promotional items, garments on the outskirts of fashion, and a relatively new medium for the Graphic Designer’s art. What had for a long time been considered a poor medium for Graphic Design grew to an almost essential one.

All you have to do is walk down the street anywhere in the world since the early 80s to see what a ubiquitous promotional vehicle they have become. If you mail out 100 potential clients a direct mail brochure perhaps 200 people will see it. But mail out, or better yet, sell 100 T-shirts, and assuming they’re at all decent looking, you launch 100 walking billboards.
Keep on reading!

Waitui Single Malt Manuka Honey Golden Bay Whiskey full packaging label system, front, back and top. Waitui is a small batch Whiskey, barrel aged 4 years. Hand crafted in Takaka, New Zealand.

Waitui single malt: name, logo & packaging

Waitui logoWaitui, a Small Batch, Single Malt, Manuka Honey, Golden Bay Whiskey, a unique New Zealand made prestige product, one of the few true ‘Honey whiskies’ made in the world today—in Takaka, Golden Bay.

Waitui, previously named ‘Bush Whiskey’ required renaming, rebranding and packaging to a standard that properly reflects the product. The result of the rebrand and repackaging has been outstanding at achieving the client’s goals; greatly increasing sales volume, profitability, and enabling the product to be distributed to prestige Whisky specialist retailers such as Whiskey Galore in Christchurch.
Keep on reading!

Silver Cloud, 100% Blue Agave Spirit, Terry Knight

Silver Cloud 100% agave spirit launch event

Silver Cloud product launch even invitation.

Silver Cloud product launch even invitation.

A documentary photo essay that I shot of the fabulous Silver Cloud 100% Pure Agave liquor launch event at Nicola’s Cantina in Nelson New Zealand.

The feature of the launch event was the auction by Terry Knight of only the first two of the thirty bottle limited release, bottles number 30 and 29, which sold on the night for a tidy NZD$400 and $450 respectively, a fitting testament to the quality of the pure agave liquor, the packaging, the branding and the success of the well promoted and event managed launch of event.
Keep on reading!

Agrimm trichoprotection, Vinevax, Pruning wound dressing, self-adhesive label, foil pouch, vacuum pack

Vinevax packaging makeover

Design is about communication, the more compelling the design, the deeper the response

Vinevax_logo_radiused_256pxMore compelling design doesn’t mean prettier, or more arty. By more compelling I mean richer, more complete, better because it is more efficient, better because it is attractive in useful ways. The design of Vinevax’s new brand collateral isn’t merely about their product looking better on the shelf, but actually functioning better as an advertisement for itself in a competitive retail environment. The design has to do with the work of increasing sales by making Vinevax’s packaging beautiful and clear.

It’s exciting. Keep on reading!

‘Jewel Gecko - New Zealand’ eight colour T-shirt print on dark green fabric.

Jewelled Gecko: lifelike graphics make a vivid impression

Surface Active | Making waves in a sea of sameness.

Hyper-real graphics like the Jewel Gecko make a vivid impression. Why? Because people relate to them! Dramatic lifelike renderings of wildlife produce a prompt and typically positive response in a person’s mind. People relate to real things and enjoy them most. It is the route to why people relate to many of our eye-catching and impactful “SurfaceActive” wildlife-art-to-wear designs.

How did we do it? The technique of colour separating this design by hand involved breaking it down into eight separate designs, from which the screens are made. The separations are printed over each other, in layers to create the original hand screenprinted design. This crafty route is the only way to achieve the unparalleled vivid impression of the design.

It helps that beauty is permanent

Fashions come and go, then come around again, but the fundamentals stay. The inspiration for the designs came from getting to know superlative alpine/wildlife photographer Colin Monteith, and renowned wildlife photographer Rod Morris. We visited their image libraries to cherrypick the most beautiful jewels in their amazing archives that we could see had the potential to be developed into hand-separated wildlife art screen gems.
Keep on reading!