Screenshot of the header of the Surface Active Teespring store. A selection of four Adelie penguins, Antarctica products are featured below.

Surface Active Artwear Teespring store pops-up

April 2020
Dear Surface Dweller,

We’re excited to announce our fab Surface Active TeeSpring store has popped up! Our Surface Active Artwear celebrates some of the beautiful assets of New Zealand. Please pause & peruse our first two designs over at Teespring—Adelie penguins and Tuatara.

Adelie penguins, Antarctica

from Surface Active

Noisy, stinky & aggressive in reality but ain’t they cute? This design is a chuckle with penguins coming & going on the front and back. By the magic of art the white cotton of a plain teeshirt is transformed into Antarctic sea ice so this design is available on white only.

White teeshirt for sale with an all-over print of Adelie penguins coming toward you on the front, going away on the back

This crazy design is printed both front…

White teeshirt for sale with an all-over print of Adelie penguins coming toward you on the front, going away on the back

and back.

This imagery tells a tale of a dramatic before and after scene that unfolded when this formation of hungry Adelie penguins hesitated near the edge of the Antarctic sea ice, then they were suddenly faced with a leopard seal on the prowl in the waters just below.

This Adelie penguin all-over print, is available here for AUD$53.12


Credits


Design firm: Surface Active
Art direction: Design pARTners, Chrissie Terpstra and Shaun Waugh
Client: Surface Active
Designer, illustrator, desktop publishing: Shaun Waugh


©magentadot brands

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

Surface Active: Making waves in a sea of sameness

T-shirts in the spirit of fun.

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

Surface Active T-shirts main neck label.

As an illustrative graphic designer, writer, desktop publisher; I was a design pARTner with Chrissie Terpstra in our in-house garment screenprinting studio. We learned that hand-pulled screenprinting is the medium of the hard labouring graphic artist.

Overview

Of course we were big fans of the humble T-shirt and 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. 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.
Keep on reading!

Mario, wild Orangutan, Borneo

The opportunity to capture wild Orangutan portraits was a rare treat


CAMP LEAKEY, TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK, BORNEO


ORANGUTAN ARE AN ALMOST exclusively arboreal species, so the glimpse we got of this teenage male named Mario, early in the morning from our riverboat before leaving the National Park, dipping in the river and posing like Tarzan on the ground just a few metres away, this was an extraordinary treat.
Read More

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.
Keep on reading!

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!

Design a beautiful logo & website for KittyCat Rehoming

Design eye appeal is only one factor in the logo design equation. A useful logo for KittyCat Rehoming Wairarapa requires concept, great execution, and most of all, clear thinking.

How do I increase the eye appeal of my KittyCat Rehoming logo?

Use a picture, especially of a cat, or use more pictures, say an icon that is immediately recognised as a home. People relate to pictures of familiar things like cats instantly.
Keep on reading!

‘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.
Keep on reading!

‘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.
Keep on reading!

Jewelled Gecko Giclée on white background, A1 size. Illustration, New Zealand wildlife art.

Lifelike gecko wildlife art print

Jewelled Gecko limited edition large format art print

Surface Active garment label embroidered

Surface Active | Making waves in a sea of sameness

Surface Active is an auto-printmaking design pARTnership established in 1986 by Shaun Waugh (boss) Chrissie Terpstra (bossier). Between 1986–2002 we were committed to producing original & indigenous designs of the highest design and screenprinting standards.

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.
Keep on reading!