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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Orana Park Chapman’s Zebra screen prints on front and back of a navy T-shirt

Wildlife Park T-shirts for Africa

Our 1992 competition winners, a range of wildlife art t-shirts that celebrate an international wildlife conservation success story: Orana’s African savannah top five


ORANA WILDLIFE PARK, MCLEANS ISLAND, CHRISTCHURCH


The retail market of the garment trade is tough, for an open range zoo like Orana Park, with one foot in the quality recreational experience sector and the other in the tourism sector, trading is highly seasonal. The competition for the customer’s discretionary spending dollar and the fact the park is a charitable trust that generates 95% of its income from gate takings and their ‘Trading Post’, demanded that the very best way of developing the Park’s new T-shirt range be used for this custom T-shirt design and print project.
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‘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.
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‘Tuatara - Sphenodon Punctatus’ portrait T-shirt front

Fuss, fuss, fuss: How this Tuatara drawing evolves

This terrific Tuatara illustrative design work evolves by focussing on the details, this is quite common

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

Surface Active Wildlife art – making waves in a sea of sameness.

To make digital art of New Zealand’s Tuatara, that has the look and feel of a natural line drawing, the editing, fussing process can take hours and while it isn’t easy it is a great deal of fun. I take pleasure in design and I enjoy using the computer to draw with the stylus, inking over the scan just as easily as I would with traditional pen and ink. The production of design work is an incredible drill when you are doing your utmost to make it terrific. I do my utmost to make sure that every design project I work on is mega.
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portrait with the fetching Stronger Chrischurch ballerina backdrop in Armagh Street, May 2015.

The rise & rise of Christchurch street art

Watch This Space logo design contest entry

Popular Urban Art or vandalism of private property? That thorny contention was settled unequivocally in post-quake Christchurch 2011. What now is considered pro-social and broadly popular urban art has morphed out of counter culture to become one of the totems of the fine art world. The gallery showcases my comp entry and a selection from my Stronger Christchurch, and Rise street art photo libraries.

Front cover Watch This Space logo presentation document

The front cover of my Watch This Space logo presentation document depicts the logo visualised screenprinted onto the back of a woman’s red hoodie garment.

Since the 2011 earthquakes Street Art is emerging all over the central city of Christchurch, like life it finds a way to vitalize empty sections and animate the bare walls that dominate the landscape with vibrant colour and youthful design.
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Eldee 2 Les Diener racing design white T-shirt

Eldee 2 Classic I.O.M. T-shirts

Velocette Racing New Zealand organisation logo. Classic racing motorcycle enthusiasts organisation brand. ‘Coca-Cola’ style sloped and looped copperplate lettering in metallic gold on a black background, consistent with the historic livery of Velocette motorcycles. Brands for New Zealand / International organisations.As a designer every now & then you get involved with a project that takes on a life of its own. The story of the Eldee Velocette is part of both NZ and Australia’s classic motorcycle racing folklore. In Feb 2013 I joined a dedicated bunch of Velo enthusiasts, who had serious plans afoot; with improved materials and greater knowledge of methods and concepts, to design and build a ‘modern classic racer’ in New Zealand that raced at the Isle of Man Classic TT, August 2014.
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