Monday, April 30, 2012

'The new Design Engine logo' Vinyl Graphics GSXR 600

Design Engine has updated it's logo in order to bring the several design engine sites together. There is the jobs forum. then the design engineering blog then the school itself  Notice the new logo on each of those pages.

 One of the cool things of working at Design Engine is how much each gets to learn. From Social marketing to brain storming to vinyl wraps. Everything in an engineer or designers life is about learning anyway and we just find ourselves constantly learning. Whether it's swimming at a better pace, steady more controlled moves in yoga or smoother faster lines on the race track it's always about how fast can you reason through problems and ultimately how fast one can learn.  That is what we are about at Design engine learning (as we teach designers how to learn new software) and in this project we set out to learn how to design and apply vinyl graphics so that possibly next fall we can administer a course utilizing all we have learned. Illustrator, design iteration process, vinyl wrap combination.  Back to the new logo....

To kick off the new logo we showed it off first on the design-engine Suzuki GSXR600 race bike which is competing in 600 Middleweight, Supersport, GTU, Heavyweight, Superbike and GP Midwest Expert races in the Champion Cup Series CCS expert series for 2012.  The images tell the story.

Illustrator looks like model for the GSXR600 Sharkskins  Hotbodies
the Adobe Illustrator line art 2012 design 'looks like model'

We started the vinyl wrap project by looking at  race bikes from current and previous years.  A little internet 'see whats out there' research never hurt anyone. We liked nothing we saw out there and we wanted to do something unique yet utilize a design that would leverage the illustrator/vinyl strengths. In our research we noticed people were doing a sort of  different tribal looks with vinyl applications like Huntly Nash's #75 race bike graphics from last year and the Michael Jordan Race Team bikes that have been wrapped over the years.   or the AMA Safety First Police Race bikes of 2005 - 2008.  All very busy graphically. We wanted to explore the use of vinyl graphics without getting too much graphically. Hope you enjoy a glimpse into our world from this picture log.

applying vinyl to the upper faring

The Vinyl we used is a 3mil cast vinyl.  It is stretchy stuff.  We used a Kawasaki heat Gun to heat up the more compound areas and we were especially careful not to stretch and distort the vinyl where graphics are concerned. 

Max with the printed artwork

Max is pictured with the printed Adobe Illustrator vector art all all ready for application to the race plastic.  Yes we made a mess but nothing the super-dope Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner can't handle (that product's latest iteration was designed developed using Pro/E and copied by Dyson by the way) And yes, we work in trade sometimes.

 the rear cow completed (white number plates for expert)

Notice the white bleed out to Red and the round number plates.  We wanted to showcase the new logo coming out of the white portion , something one can't easily do with paint. The finished product has white on top and bottom and a red in the middle sections.  We thought the round number place stands out this way.

Suzuki GSXR vinyl template Illustrator
 'Template File' (what we send to print)

Typically a printer will want an Adobe Illustrator file PDF complete with layers.  One layer for the color graphics and another layer for a magenta die cut line.

Vinyl Graphics on compound Surfaces designengine
using masking tape to obtain the flat for the compound surfaces

One challenge with vinyl graphics is simply applying the vinyl without the vinyl sticking to itself. Another challenge is getting the air pockets out properly.  Yet another challenge is understanding what flat pattern to utilize from compound surfaces such as found on motorcycle race plastic, not to mention applying those graphics to the farings.  We used a hot glue gun to help the vinyl stick on the b-side of the faring surfaces.

A spot of bother as they say in England

Nothing a heat gun can't untangle. This section of the upper faring defiantly does not lend well for wrapping.  This is where the frame sliders go if we used them... and we don't use them.  If I had a hand in the design and development of the race plastic there would be some changes.

If you are interested in one of the Design Engine Illustrator workshops consider taking our one or two week Adobe Illustrator intensive to learn the basics of Illustrator, develop graphics for your project then learn how to apply your printed vinyl graphics.  We intend for the class to occur in the Fall of 2012 and will probably utilize several instructors.  The curriculum is not set nor has been set but do send in your inquiry so we can use your input to plan the course dates and structure.

Whats next?  We are still busy with Vinyl Graphics this year!  Design Engine has two Yamaha Zuma Scooters for it's employees and out of town students to enjoy.  You guessed it, they are being wrapped too.  Oh and the Design Engine YZ450's too.  

 The completed race bike at Heartland Park Raceway in Topeka KS

Bart Brejcha CCS GSXR600 2012 graphics designengine
 The completed graphics T4 Blackhawk Farms Raceway BFR

 Special thanks to Max who is learning the seemingly black art of vinyl wrapping compound surfaces!   I know he was joking but when Max said he was going to wrap the coffee maker I cried in laughter.  If he doesn't wrap the coffee maker I will!


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Joe Bailey said...

Anyway to get a copy of the illustrator file you used to layout the vinyl?

Kaieza Damien said...

Hi there! great stuff. Thanks for sharing a very interesting and informative content, it helps me a lot in looking for some design engineering jobs, keep it up!

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