Graphic design isn't really my thing as I don't have a background in it. I help customers sort out fonts for decals and stencils but that is mostly as far as it goes. Generally I just look for connections between things as I am sure most people do. I hadn't really thought about Dave K's logos until I looked at them last night, actually I forgot he had a new one. Sometimes it is just an immediate gut reaction when you see something.
I don't know if I could help someone else sort this stuff out as I thought I was still 3-4 steps down the path. Happy to help where I can though.
Does that make me a consultant? What's the going rate these day?
Thanks for answering. I think you are firmly rooted in design and production, that knowledge is an advantage.
Another question.... Decals or Masks? Which do you prefer and why?
Here are some jumbled thoughts on the matter.
Some would say that decals are cheap and do not do justice to a nice frame or paint job.
I have no problem with them, decals and stencils both have their advantages.
The richness and depth you can get with stencils or masks is nicer and you can choose from any colour that you can paint so it really opens up the options. They are however much more labour intensive to apply, spray, clean-up. So stencils are often cheaper to produce but more costly in application.
If cheaper material is used for masking than it will leave a lot of residue which means double the clean-up. Stencils are also limiting as far as the line quality and the number of colours you want to use. Some things are too small or a line too thin to try and cut as a stencil. I am sure my local guy bangs his head off the wall whenever I send him a job. "George, can you cut me 100 1/2" snowflakes?" The cutting machines just don't work very well on such a small scale. And beyond two or three colours they can get to be a bit much.
Decals on the other hand are easy to apply and really easy to screw up. Usually you only get one shot and I have messed that up more times than I care to remember. Applying them cockeyed or accidentally letting them stick to themselves could mean along time waiting for more decals and a lot of work removing what you have put down. They are more expensive to produce usually as putting the graphics together can be time consuming and having them printed by an expert like Gary at SSSINK isn't cheap and we all know he takes a really long time. But the quality is amazing and the details are far finer than would be possible with masks.
So in general I would say for easier one-three colour stuff maskings are good. Really complex stuff may demand decals. This is why I am slowly designing decals sets to use with semi-custom paint offerings. It is a good way to offer lots off colour in a more or less simple way.
I don't have an affinity for Cervelos but attached are two examples. The flower decals used could not be replicated with stencils based on the number of colours and the fine line quality. The hands are better suited for stencils because of the amount of solid material they would have otherwise used to get the colours matched according to the customers wishes. As well stencils can be used around complex forms which adds to the potential variety of placement. The hands are pretty basic stencil work though but will hopefully give you an idea.
I remember three years ago, when I ordered my first custom Hampsten from Steve. After a few e-mails back and forth as Steve interviewed me to learn my preferences in bikes, I seem to recall him figuring out that I was taught by Mike Barry. Mike's influence is that strong & evident.
No Doubt Mike has had a big influence on me.
Believe it or not, I only had one bike for a long time. I know how can anybody get by with just one bike.
I was a mountain biker so had a Gary Fisher that I used for everything with extra wheel with slicks mounted for commuting. Every time I saw Mike he would shake his head and say "get a road bike". Eventually I did, a shitty one, only three or four months before starting with him which has changed it all. But what I didn't know then that I know know is that he doesn't really get mountain biking. Cross is good because it still has drop bars and looks more or less traditional. But suspension forks and fat tubes, or worst of all a duel-suspension bike, will be scoffed at. The only Mtn bike in the shop is Michael jr's. It's only moderately tolerable because it is Michael's. We occasionally ride the trails when he's in town so it continues to hang here between a wooden rimmed CCM and a woman's 1960's Olympia complete with rod brakes, fenders and skirt guard.
I have used this as a bit of a lesson though. He knows a lot and has seen so much. Trends that have come and gone. Components or bikes that were supposed to be the next big thing that went know where. But he has a very specific aesthetic view. His Mariposa is all black, with honjo fenders. It is beautiful and simple and if it were up to him I think they would all look like that aside from the Beloved Bianchis of course. I look for the modern ground between the modern stuff and the Mike Barry view. It is important that I listen but with a grain of salt as to be able to find my own road and make my own choices. I have learned to take his head shaking now and we can laugh about it a bit. It is funny though, I still look for his approval even when I know I've gone too far for him. But sometimes he surprises me.
Absolutely important to find your own voice. I'm happy to be influenced by Mike, but as with all teachings, I've gradually transformed what he taught me, as well as others, to my own viewpoint.
For example, I don't believe that Mike likes sloping top tubes. Simultaneous to learning from Mike in the '80's, I was also exposed to Canadian Paul Brodie's fillet-brazed MTB frame work. Absolutely gorgeous, and definitely sloping. While I love a traditional horizontal top tube road frame, my current road frames from Steve @ Hampco all have a sloping top tube - which is an influence of Mr. Hampsten and Mr. Brodie, rather than Mr. Barry.
Good to read about your background.
What color do you like to shoot most? Does it affect how you approach? Then, what color do you not like to work with?
My favourite colour to paint is probably something in the solid red range. Red is so rich, like candy, it is really satisfying to see it layed down.
It used to be that white was the worst colour to paint functionally. That was before I learned how to paint "clean". White shows all of the little black dust nibs and whatever happens to land in the paint while you're working. It is also easy to leave working marks on white. Slight staining from a stencil of another colour that you can't get off of the surface.
Now, I don't think twice about it.
Now I least like painting yellow and black. Yellow is probably the least opaque colour. It really shows everything underneath the surface. It likes to show of the hard edges of lugs or cable guides so good even coverage is super important. Black is hard because it shows surface imperfections. Uneven filling or prep work. It also can't be polished very well. Scratches are more noticeable in black than any other colour I think. Luckily I don't do much polishing. Black also takes the longest to clean out of the gun. I have realized recently how much time I spend cleaning my guns. Not something you normally account for but it could be like a half hour a day depending how much spraying I am doing.
I think you always have to be aware of what you are going to be spraying when getting a frame ready. Coverage and opacity is something to be aware of. Also stuff like metallic colours which are often less opaque but are quite thin as well. They show off lots off sanding and scuff marks in the undercoats.
Now you know when choosing a colour for your machine.
Thanks for the notes. It is nice to hear from your perspective. I just got back a bike with gloss and matt black, and I was told it was a pretty darn challenging job, guess I need to thank him extra for this one, it came out great.
Your response here intrigued me. I agree yellow is a horrible color to shoot, but I'm sure you use some of the same trade secrets I do to help. However, I am the complete opposite when it comes to black, I consider black to be the easiest to shoot. It shoots very well and from my perspective it covers up everything. Surface imperfections just seem to melt away. I just find it interesting we vary so much on that. You nailed it...like a car, black looks the best when its clean and polished and the worst when its dirty and scratched.
Thank you for the compliment.
We were across from each other at Richmond and had a few short conversations between the waves of interested on lookers.
I am not necessarily sure of the trade secrets you speak of. I did learn here t the shop, for the most part from builder Tom Hinton but I have re-taught myself much of what I felt I needed to know. Though I could be out of the loop for some of the trade knowledge.
As you know, painting is all about light reflection. White is hard to physically paint I feel because it reflects so much light that it can be hard to see where you are painting. Because of this it is maybe easier to make look good. In the sunshine white is bright and therefore hides small surface variations. My thinking is that black is like a mirror and shows you everything that is wrong with it. It made me think of the work of Richard Wilson. He fills gallery spaces with oil, lots of it. It is so deep and thick that the material itself is hard to see itself but mirrors the rest of the gallery space.
Last edited by velocolour; 12-22-2010 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Change of heart
We were also neighbors at one of the NAHBS, I think last year.
My question for you is do you work with specific builders, like the way that Richard works with Joe B, and if not, why not? Also, any customs issues sending frames across the border?
I think it was in Richmond. Yes, I was lucky enough to have the IFs across from me to stare at all weekend. You're a good bunch.
I don't really work with any builders. A few have sent the occassional project my way but I can't say why there isn't more. I definitely haven't been around as long as most of the others so that could be part of it. People trust what they know and working with a Joe Bell is a sure thing. Also the fact that I am across the border I feel is a significant deterent. A lot of people (Americans, no offence) don't actually know what is on the other side of the border and think of Canada as being as foreign as China. This was proven to me multiple times at the Philly bike show. Over and over peopel looked at me with shock because I drove all the way from Canada to Philly. "what, it's only eight hours?" I think Doug F. and Herbie drove twelve hours from the far side of Michigan. The best reason for doing shows and meeting people is to tell potential customers that we are infact neighbours and shipping or even driving ,which some like to do, is quite easy.
So I do think the border has played a big role in the customers I get.
I would like to do more work with builders, but not to the extent of JB. I like the way my business runs. Working one on one with customers is good and it gives me lots of variety and free reign. That being said people around here (the salon) and elsewhere are doing greaqt things and painitng a few bikes for them really would be and is a privelage.
Shipping is pretty easy. I try to keep it to the Postal Service as they don't charge the duties and taxes that the others do. I get around the tax thing with them by having the customer state on the customs form that it is in for repair under warranty. This just means I am not buying the thing and that's that. The only thing is there is a size restriction though most well fitting bike boxes are fine. UPS has become my official broker but I only use them for over sized packages.
It has taken a while to sort some of this stuff out, so much for free trade huh?
Now I think almost a quarter of my work comes from the States so it has become a lot easier.
Alright guys, I was the first neighbor of Noah back in Indy and I knew and had been to Toronto too!
For those that are interested the Curnoe tribute is all together now.
I think it looks amazing. Now we just need some better pictures.
Two Serious Bikes