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We turned this photograph

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Into this Tee Shirt Design


ONE OFF designs are our speciality,many of the 'Stock' designs shown on this site started off as a ' One off Design' sent as a colour or black and white photograph emailed to me from a customer.Designs have not just been of motorcycles, they have been of cars, aircraft, boats and occasionally of cats and dogs.Some have been derived from recent photographs of a favourite machine .Whilst others are of old black and white images from many years ago of a great machine that was once owned by the sender but has long been sold or just disappeared into the past.


Whatever your idea for a One Off  Design is,we can work with you to accommodate your wish  

to achieve your desired result.Whether it be a detailed silver on a black tee sketch or a full colour radical design on a white tee , together we can make it happen.

Simply email me at explaining your design idea along with any photographs or images that are relevant to the design.I will do a prototype design along the lines of what you have requested and email it back to you for your perusal. Now we have a 'STARTING POINT' to work from ,from which you can request changes to get to a final design that you are happy with. Usually I can come up with the final design within a couple of return emails I then quote you a price based on artwork design time and the type of print medium plus the type of garment required. Also at this time I ask for your shirt size and address to add the price of shipping to the cost.

PAYMENT  I will send a PAYPAL invoice on which payment can be made via credit card (you do not have to have a PAYPAL account to make a credit card payment)   



I understand that in some cases the photographs emailed to me are from years ago of old machines that are no longer in the possession of the sender.They could be even old black and white or colour hard copy photographs that have been scanned to be emailed.With these photographs I have no choice than to work with what have. 

As the majority of the price of a ONE OFF design is based on artwork design time, obviously the less time I take over the design the less the cost of the finished product.Therefore if the bike/car or whatever the subject matter is still available to be photographed by following my tips on the type of photographs that are easier for me to work with the cost of the ONE OFF design will be less.


If possible take photographs of the the Bike or Car in question against a plain background such as a light coloured garage door or if at all possible put a white sheet behind your subject matter. The reason for this is that in most cases if a detailed sketch design is required, all of the background of the photograph must be removed before the process of turning it into a sketch can begin. The most time consuming part of cutting out the background of a colour photograph is removing the background from behind the spokes of a motorcycle .By sending your photographs with a plain background, it saves a lot of artwork time and therefore the total cost of the ONE OFF will be cheaper. 

Below you see two images to illustrate the benefits of taking your images against a fairly plain background and also taking them on an overcast day as stated in the paragraph underneath the images.The Norton is my own bike taken against a white background that helps me enormously in not having to go around the outline of the bike and cutting out the background. Also the lighting is subdued the overcast conditions on the day help keep glaring sun flashes and reflections down to enhance the lines of the bike and no clear shadows are present that show the bike off in different  shading  across the bike .The second image of the honda CB 500 is completely the opposite was taken on a sunny day with glare coming off the petrol tank exhaust and the headlight.The image would be very difficult to cut the background out as it is so 'BUSY' with clothing and other bikes in the background ,shadows are also casting over different parts of the bike.


As the two images above demonstrate For the best results for a 'sketch design' by taking the photograph of your favourite bike / car on a day that is cloudy or overcast thus avoiding very bright reflections and glare flashes that can distort and mask the lines of the sketch.The image of my Norton Commando has very little glare and has just a small bit of reflection coming off the petrol tank.This image taken on an overcast day against a fairly plain background would reduce the cost of a ONE OFF design as opposed to the Honda CB 500 which would take about an hour longer . 



Shadows usually can be a problem to a sketch design especially if they are from other sources other than the bike or subject in question.If you have to take photographs in the sun try to position your shadow out of shot so it does not cast over the subject.It is nearly impossible for me to complete a sketch design with shadows intermittently appearing over the subjects as seen on the honda CB 500 photograph (above right)

In some cases a shadow can enhance a design if it shows a defined crisp outline of the subject below it. This can only be achieved when the bike or car is standing on a hard surface.Shadows cast of the subject onto a grass or uneven surface cause the out line of the shadow to be fuzzy or distorted. Look at the two images below and you can see the difference in the shadow of the Old Indian, the shadow over grass is fuzzy and undefined yet the shadow cast from the Triumph Trophy on a hard surface is crisp and defined.  


This tip does not lessen the cost of the overall design but is personal choice that enhances the look of a finished design.By taking the photograph at a slight angle and slightly over the top of the subject,be it a motorcycle,car or whatever gives me the chance to show depth perception to the design.This is usually much better than a straight 'SIDE ON' image which does show off your prized vehicle to it's best ability.As mentioned above this is a personal choice for the customer to make....if you prefer for your design to based around a 'side on' image that is perfectly OK with me and as the old saying goes 'Give the customer what he or she wants'. Even though the image of the Kwaka Z1 on the left below has been taken on an overcast day there is no depth to the image. Compared to the image on the right which is at an angle of roughly 30 to 45 degree front onto the bike this photograph has depth perception showing of much more of the bike ...especially the detail of the engine.  


This is a particular bug bear for me when turning a photograph into a sketch. If the image sent to me is of a bike or car that is being photographed on a grass lawn then in a lot of cases I have a problem.The reason being that even if the grass is only a few inches high then the full outside edge of the tyres of the vehicle are hidden.If this is the case I have to take a lot of time rebuilding the edge and in alot if cases (if the front wheel is slightly turned) the tread of the tyre to get the finished design.

This can be avoided  ( if there is no HARD Surface available ) by gently flattening the surface of the grass directly in front of the tryes with the sole of your shoe.There is no need to stomp the area with your heel especially if it is a friends prized lawn. Alternatively you can reposition the vehicle slightly behind it previous position where the tyres would have already flattened the grass.

Just a few blades of grass just sitting up above the tyre line are OK,I can just blend them out , but if the grass causes a straight line at the bottom curve of the tyre then I have to reconstruct the bottom of the tyre which depending on it's tread pattern takes time and therefore costs the customer more money. 


In the first image we see a beautiful 1970 Triumph Bonneville the problem  I would have with this shot is the grass is too long therefore hiding the bottom edge of the tyres .To turn this image into a sketch I would  have to cut out the area of grass and rebuild the edge of the Tyres which could take considerable time and therefore cost the customer more money for his ONE OFF Design. 

The second image of the Yamaha  is a lot better candidate for me to turn into a sketch with only a few tuffs of grass peeking up above the tyre line. 

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