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

Surface Active: Making waves in a sea of sameness

Surface Active art-to-wear: T-shirts in the spirit of fun.

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

Surface Active T-shirts main neck label.

‘Adelie Penguins, Antarctica’ adult’s and children’s two colour T-shirt print on white fabric.

‘Adelie Penguins, Antarctica’ adult’s and children’s two colour print.

As an illustrative graphic designer, writer, desktop publisher; I was a design pARTner with Chrissie Terpstra in an in-house craft garment screenprinting studio, the medium of the workingman’s artist.

By the mid 1980s T-shirts 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.
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Auto Restorations website homepage after redesign, showing Automotive Dreams marketing slideshow and table of links to website feature articles and pages.

Energise an image heavy website

Energise an image heavy website by design


AUTO RESTORATIONS, 52 STEWART ST, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND


Links to PDF of New Zealand Classic Car magazine cover story on the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso

Making it to the cover of Classic Car magazine, the superior quality of Auto Restorations’ work speaks for itself in this 6 page cover article  (linked).

Established in 1973 Auto Restorations has a story to tell. Every year it must mobilise new car restoration projects. To do this it relies on existing clientele, affluent, discerning people who might already know of the company by word of mouth, prestigious Concours D‘Elegance ‘First In Class’ wins, the publicity that generates in classic car enthusiasts’ media, their advertisingwebsite and brochure—sales brochures, basically—designed to showcase the superior quality of the work they do. Showcase the process of restoration, the completed works, among them some of the most refined and rare cars in the world, and do it justice with advertising and promotional material that has the maximum effect and gives the impression to their select international clientele of an organization worthy of trusting one’s precious, valuable car to.

Well crafted and well made custom built motor cars, widely regarded as some of the most rare and beautiful, are the results of the restoration process, a process which varies.
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Four of Auto Restorations skilled workforce wheel a custom body Delage Roadster into position in the carpark.

Informal portraiture at work

Informal portraiture in the workplace using available light


AUTO RESTORATIONS WORKSHOP, STEWART STREET, CHRISTCHURCH 2009–2012


When shooting informal portraiture avoid distraction from the most important purpose—getting photographs. These photos were shot and photo composites produced 2009–2012, they offer a historical profile of Auto Restorations during that time soon after Allan Wylie stepped up from the Mechanical Shop floor to the role of General Manager. Pictures of their employees on their redesigned website, and capabilities brochure in print helped Auto Restorations transform from a faceless company to people that their customers can relate to. The highly specialised, high value personal service that Auto Restorations’ workforce offer to customers is an advantage that they have over large companies, their multiple international Concours D’Elegance awards attest to this. Good photos of their skilled workforce reinforce this.
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Wildlife Photo portrait of a Cheetah at Orana Wildlife Park

Where the wild things are

Orana Wildlife Park is a great place for wildlife photography


ORANA WILDLIFE PARK, MCLEANS ISLAND, CHRISTCHURCH


WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE GENRE of photography concerned with the documenting of wildlife in their natural habitat, Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. Visiting Orana Park therefore offers a unique opportunity for the self-assignment of exercising your photography skills because in the wild animals are difficult to approach, predicting their actions is hit and miss, whereas the animals at Orana Park are not perturbed when viewed from quite close up and because there are mostly no bars or cages capturing great images of them in interesting situations just takes a little patience to be in the right place at the right time.
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Antarctic Centre Adelies on ice Antarctica design on a white and a dark blue T-shirt

Cool T-shirts for Antarctica

WILDLIFE ART FOR THE ANTARCTIC CENTRE – Surface Active design pARTners’ good art achieves standout 1991 competition win

Christchurch is the gateway to Antarctica, has been for well over a century. The International Antarctic Centre was established in 1990, the visitor ‘Antarctic Attraction’ was opened to the public two years later.

Getting Antarctic people to vote on the Antarctic T-shirt designs

In 1991 the Attraction’s “Antarctic shop” merchandising and trading manager invited New Zealand’s leading souvenir T-shirt screen printers to each enter a set of Antarctica T-shirt designs into a competition, speculatively, to be judged and voted on by staff members of the various national Antarctic programmes based in Christchurch—hundreds of world-class scientists, explorers, transport support staff and the likes involved in preparing for their work in Antarctica. The brief was wide open, wildlife art designs, historical designs pertaining to Christchurch’s involvement with the 1912 epic of Captain Scott’s race to the Pole.
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