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.

By Shaun Waugh, Surface Active—New Zealand wildlife art t-shirts | 29 September 2021
Shop for men, women and kids at our New Zealand-based store or our U.S./Europe-based worldwide store.

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.

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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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Pomeroy’s Press newsletter front page, masthead, leading article, Pomeroy’s family greeting, photo of Steve and Victoria Pomeroy.

Pomeroy’s pub newsletter

The restrained look for Pomeroy’s English style pub newsletter is pure news


POMEROY’S OLD BREWERY INN, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND


THE QUARTERLY POMEROY’S Old Brewery Inn and restaurant newsletter had a name inspired by their brand, “The Pomeroy’s Press”, it was well-edited by Chrissie Terpstra who was also chief reporter between 2005–2010 and was designed and laid out with a look that made the news.
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Portrait of TeKiwi Silver Cloud with shot glasses lined up outside Nicola's Cantina.

Launching Silver Cloud 100% agave spirit

“Silver Cloud” 100% Blue Agave Spirit is the product name originated by MagentaDot Brands for the first release of 30 bottles of New Zealand’s first Pure Agave Tequilana Spirit. Silver Cloud is the brainchild of Master Distiller Terry Knight of Kiwi Spirit Distillery whose idea it was to make a premium small batch 100% Agave Spirit from agave grown in Golden Bay and distilled by him. The name, “Silver Cloud”, the logo and packaging combined to position New Zealand’s first premium 100% Blue Agave Spirit at the premium price point of NZD $1,000 per bottle. This is a branding and packaging project at the high end of the international liquor market for which I was commissioned to create something handmade and special. My branding saw the first release of 30 bottles achieve selling to both a national and global market at the desired $1,000 per bottle price.
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Cashel Street, Pop-up Mall, night photography, post earthquake, illuminated at night by WindsorUrban luminaires and lighting poles. Photo shot for WindsorUrban website redesign and rebrand project.

Photography: Represent your brand with quality imagery

Craft means you care and you know about what you are doing

With any visual communications project first and foremost it is essential to represent your identity or brand with professional imagery. MagentaDot Brands makes every effort to work with our clients so that the standard of their imagery and visual art design is to a high-quality professional standard. In addition to the photography services below;
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