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. Some rebuilds are particularly challenging and may take many hundreds of hours of meticulous work by expert technicians that sometimes stretch over years. The strict rule for their sales material is a focus on the process of restoration and the advantages Auto Restorations offers their niche customer base, working faithfully to an exacting standard at a fair market price.

Racing action image of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C, #32, racing at Thunderhill Raceway Park, California. Peter Giddens at the wheel.

Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C, #31, restored by Auto Restorations in 1998, cresting the hill at Thunderhill Raceway Park, California, 2018.

“I chose Auto Restorations to restore my rare Alfa Romeo Tipo C race car, one of only three remaining, because of the Kiwi attitude that if you can’t buy it, you’ll make it”.
~Peter Giddngs, owner/driver

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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.

Lineup of classic cars in carpark of Auto Restorations, Stewart Street Christchurch workshop.

Italy, the United States, France, and Australia are represented in this lineup of 20th century classic cars, from the current work in progress at Auto Restorations in September, 2009.

Whether shooting outdoors or indoors, consider using the flash to light the subject. If the available light is insufficient then you need to build up more light until the clearest and best photo is taken. This may involve bouncing flash light up off the ceiling or outdoor canopy. You shouldn’t see light in the final picture—you should see the subject.

Dropping to one knee and shooting up at your subject yields a heroic image.

Informal portrait of Allan Wylie, Auto Restorations’ manager leaning against his 1938 Ford roadster.

Visual anthropology: Work method documentary photography

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MTC 2015 launch catalogue

MTC_logo_greys_256Once a mainstay of the graphic design business, nowadays print brochures are more the rarity but my fascination with ink on paper is perennial. I was inspired by the opportunity to create a small company launch and product catalogue brochure for MTC Equipment, that is short and to the point.
Keep on reading!

Showcase of MTC Equipment online catalogue website. The three pages portrayed are the homepage, a catalogue overview page and the Ejector Trailer catalogue item page. The three key elements to the responsive online catalogue’s ease of use.

MTC Equipment website

The MTC Equipment’s rename and rebrand project included designing their new logo and identity system, the design and populating of their catalogue website , and creating a direct mail brand launch and product catalogue.

It was a great opportunity to work with an established family company, formerly Murray Tractor Company, to implement a rename, rebrand, and repositioning their new business as import agents of Chieftain Trailers of Ireland in the New Zealand, and Australasian regional  markets.
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Supergraphic MTC Volvo FH12 makeover

MTC’s import Volvo FH12 had a makeover and now she’s sweet, in fact she’s a cherry!

The air is thick with ideas in the MagentaDot Brands studio, design is a classic discipline of endless potential and this brief from MTC Equipment was generously thrown wide open. The new livery design brief for the Volvo was given to me in a meeting concurrent with TruLine Civil’s in-house truck painter Andrew Gill, a true master of his trade. This kicked off a fruitful, illustrious collaboration with him and Darren Leeds of Leeding signs. It included the discussion of details like the quality of new alloy boilerplate and wheel arches, the exhaust stacks makeover, and the bold selection of the AA premium cherry red metallic lustre paint to boot! Metallic paint being an exceeding rare choice for long haul trucks to be finished in.
Keep on reading!