Photo of a young man with a cup of coffee engaged in art print production with a red-billed gull, New Brighton pier sunrise composite illustration on the computer monitor of his iMac alonside a matching large format framed poster of the same print sitting on his desk. The headline is on the dark navy blue background of the wall and reads: “Let's celebrate our passion for New Zealand… on your wall. Surface Active wildlife art prints. Canvas & specialty papers available.”

Surface Active Wildlife Art Gallery Prints

Surface Active design pARTners Chrissie Terpstra and Shaun Waugh welcome orders to reproduce fine art prints from our collection of wildlife artworks, linked here. We provide archival/fine art quality reproduction prints of our works—perfect for your walls or as a gift. your walls or as a gift.

Our offering of limited edition wildlife art prints celebrating New Zealand nature is founded on two strong foundations:

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Birds-eye view portrait of Surface Active t-shirt’s design pARTners, Chrissie Terpstra and Shaun Waugh, wearing Harlequin and Jewelled Gecko tees, against a white background, shot in a studio in 1996.

Surface Active: Making waves in a sea of sameness

Retrospective: Surface Active 1986–2003— t-shirts in the spirit of fun.

November 2021

Dear Surface Dweller,

We’re excited to announce our two e-stores, the Surface Active <a

href=”https://www.surfaceactive.nz/?pr=PERFEC”>global store and the <a

href=”http://surfaceactive.digitees.co.nz/&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>New Zealand-based store! To celebrate this significant stage in the development of our clothing brand we are rewarding our customers with a bonus.

🛍 NZ-based store: Sale price: The price of all the goods in the NZ store are 10% discounted.

🛍 Global store: Use code: “PERFEC” for 5% off your Global store purchase, storewide.

Surface Active well made in New Zealand t-shirt neck label.

Surface Active well made in New Zealand t-shirt neck label.

Back in 1986, as an illustrative graphic designer; I was a design pARTner with Chrissie Terpstra in our ‘auto printmaking’ garment screenprinting studio and clothing brand, Surface Active Artwear.

We learned over the next 17 years together aboard the good ship Free Enterprise, in what began as a shared hobby screenprinting on the kitchen table, that hand-pulled screenprinting is the medium of the hard labouring graphic artist. From the drawing board, to the darkroom, to the shirtfront with squeegee in hand, to folding great drifts of cotton, employing up to four people, manning our stalls at the weekend Christchurch Arts Centre Market, The Waiheke Island market and The Great New Zealand Craftshows from Cape Reinga to Bluff… busy, busy, busy.

Overview

Of course we were big fans of the humble t-shirt. 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.

Back in the day, if you mailed 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!

Tree fern, New Zealand t-shirt

Feel like a walk in the forest downunder? It’s hard to avoid the familiar sight of tree ferns, or punga, no matter where you go in New Zealand. Cool and bushy, this attractively umbrellarific all-over printed t-shirt design is repeated on the shirt back. Available in adult sizes XS–3XL on forest green or black shirts.

Shop using this link to the treefern design in our store to receive a 5% discount, use promo code: “PERFEC”.

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Events Management Group branding

EMG Events Management Group was a Christchurch firm established to support the performing arts and project manage the creation and development of large and small scale events such as outdoor theatre for the city council’s parks & recreation department, conferences, conventions and bespoke corporate events such as product launches and fundraisers.
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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.
Keep on reading!

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.
Keep on reading!

Poster Mr Fungus International Comic Mime

Fungustic slaprobatics: a poster for Mr Fungus

A poster for New Zealand‘s loudest mime

After training in London at the Desmond Jones School of Mime and earning a living on the competitive streets of Covent Garden and at various international busking festivals, at age 25 Fergus returned to New Zealand to work full time as an entertainer. He needed a logo and self-promotional publicity kit to enable him to market himself and provide to talent agencies. This poster is a photo montage produced using old school paste up and photolitho methods. Inverting the chair handstand ‘fungustic slaprobatic’ trick into a free-falling Mr Fungus was to play with the audience with a sort of Irish parachute sight gag, and making a poster that could be hung “correctly” upside down and still not make sense.
Keep on reading!

Vinevax PWD brochure redesign cover

Trichoseal-spray: pruning wound dressing makeover

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!

Verso of Mr Fungus business card

Mr. Fungus logo & card: make a big impression at close range

Graphics must be purposeful

Recently returned to settle back in Wellington from the U.K. in 1991, having done his time entertaining Covent Garden and international festival audiences, Fergus Aitken was a busker, a young exponent of clowning, juggling, mime and the bizarre who needed a logo and a business stationery promotional kit to advertise and promote his comic mime character Mr Fungus. More broadly he needed to promote his availability for various performing arts roles and as a mime workshop teacher in community, school and tertiary education settings. The first project, a card, would be handed over personally or included in direct mail campaigns to various audiences, where it would be viewed mainly at very close range.
Keep on reading!