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Where do makers of repro bike graphics get their artwork?

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Where do makers of repro bike graphics get their artwork?

Old 04-15-24, 03:01 PM
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Where do makers of repro bike graphics get their artwork?

I mean if the actual artwork isn't available. Do they use photos of graphics on a bike as a guide? And then reconstruct in PS by hand? How do they deal with the curvature?
I just read on a repro graphics website about one shop using a competitor's artwork and I started thinking about the whole process.
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Old 04-15-24, 03:18 PM
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Hell if I know. When I've needed graphics for a repaint, the painter had them. The couple times I've needed them to replace graphics without a repaint, I've been able to get from Greg Softly at cyclomondo. (Don't fret that he is in Australia, the decals - okay, technically stickers - fit in regular envelopes and arrive by 1st Class mail in short order.)

This may not be of any help to you, but I'm happy to have and opportunity to plug cyclomondo. Good guy, good product, deserving of your business.
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Old 04-15-24, 03:24 PM
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Jim Cunninham at Cycle Art used graphic design tools on a Mac to create repop decals, this was a key part of his business starting up in the mid-90s.

Can start with a scan of an existing decal or take a photo, import it and then touch it up, render as vector art and have a decal printed.

/markp
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Old 04-15-24, 03:29 PM
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they have to draw it, and not in PS (that's Photo Shop to you guys) since it's pixel-based but in Illustrator or a similar Vector-based app.
They also have to run things thru their own pre-press set-up since results depend on all the details being nailed and most "decals" be they stickers on SA (self-adhesive) vinyl or a water-slide substrate (or even varnish-fix if somebody actually has some) will be printed on something like an ALPS printer which does not print 4-color (CMYK) inks in a "dot-pattern, but individual (solid) inks per the job at hand. More like what a silk-screen printer applies to a t-shirt, for example,
Yes, the curvature of the tubing that will eventually receive the finished results has to be allowed for in the drawing of the mechanical art.

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Old 04-15-24, 03:40 PM
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As unworthy1 wrote, Adobe Illustrator. Varnish slide is available through SSSInk. SSSInk is screen print. Most everyone else is digital. I have been using Illustrator for 30+ years, I do my own artwork. This is the latest.




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Old 04-15-24, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
As unworthy1 wrote, Adobe Illustrator. Varnish slide is available through SSSInk. SSSInk is screen print. Most everyone else is digital. I have been using Illustrator for 30+ years, I do my own artwork. This is the latest.
Very nice work. And here we thought you were just another pretty face.
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Old 04-15-24, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
As unworthy1 wrote, Adobe Illustrator. Varnish slide is available through SSSInk. SSSInk is screen print. Most everyone else is digital. I have been using Illustrator for 30+ years, I do my own artwork. This is the latest.




perhaps he found some additional stock?
he had warned for a while the base materials were dwindling.

but yes, gotta draw it.
translating from a tube is a challenge if that is the reference. I have snapped a bunch of images with a circumference reference - only a few degrees of arc are near true shape, compile those together and an approximation to work from. Correction is needed, that separates the hobbyists from the pros.

lots of meh reproduction graphics out there.
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Old 04-15-24, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
Yes, the curvature of the tubing that will eventually receive the finished results has to be allowed for in the drawing of the mechanical art.
Very interesting information.
If the reference art is a photo of the art on a bike, and the artist then recreates it ... The original bike decal is very distorted because it wraps around the tubing. Is this distortion removed by the skill of the artist or is there a de-warp tool that helps? Or maybe something like multi photo merge from different photo angles? (My wife says I tend to overthink things).
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Old 04-15-24, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
perhaps he found some additional stock?
he had warned for a while the base materials were dwindling.
No additional stock. He bought it all, no more to get. Only fools like me asking for it, but it will end some day.

I was there Friday, had the nickel tour. Had a grand time talking shop. The operation does OK business with bicycle restorations, but they do other stuff for the real business.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dmarkun
Very interesting information.
If the reference art is a photo of the art on a bike, and the artist then recreates it ... The original bike decal is very distorted because it wraps around the tubing. Is this distortion removed by the skill of the artist or is there a de-warp tool that helps? Or maybe something like multi photo merge from different photo angles? (My wife says I tend to overthink things).
Generally, the designer figures it out. In most cases, the wrap is minimal and the "warp" is also minimal. In the example below, the flat image of the "wrap" is 19.5mm. As you can see in the other picture, the measurement is 23mm. I'll assume things like the round ends are actually round. Pictures at 10 and 2 help. Sometimes you get lucky and have flat originals.

While those versed in the art can see things that are "wrong", most don't. In my opinion, the wrong "distortion" is a less noticeable error. What's glaring to me is the perfection of computers. Back in the day, this artwork was scaled up 5-10 times, with pen and ink on paper. Prone to the ink bleeding. That was scaled down with the film to make the screens. Each color is it's own screen. Alignment, or what we call registration, of those screens was not often good. So in the Paglianti artwork, all lines are exactly the same width. The color lands perfectly within the lines. That ain't the case of original decals. Colors bleed into one and another. Lines vary in width and also bleed making them "lumpy".




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Old 04-15-24, 05:14 PM
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By the way, you can see in the above example, the decal was not placed square. Slightly twisted. Off center is quite common too.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
Off center is quite common too.
I could be wrong here, but having the down tube decals slightly above the centre line of the tube makes them look 'right' as your eye height is usually above the bike. Not sure if it was always that way or came about with television broadcasting.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20
I could be wrong here, but having the down tube decals slightly above the centre line of the tube makes them look 'right' as your eye height is usually above the bike. Not sure if it was always that way or came about with television broadcasting.
I was referring to head tube and seat tube decals. Sorry.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
As unworthy1 wrote, Adobe Illustrator. Varnish slide is available through SSSInk. SSSInk is screen print. Most everyone else is digital. I have been using Illustrator for 30+ years, I do my own artwork. This is the latest.
I keep telling myself I really need to move to Illustrator, but as I've been using Freehand since the late 80s, I may be too stuck in a different way of working to make the jump. Thank goodness for Basilisk II, SheepShaver, and other classic MacOS emulators that allow me to continue in my obsolete ways.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
I keep telling myself I really need to move to Illustrator, but as I've been using Freehand since the late 80s, I may be too stuck in a different way of working to make the jump. Thank goodness for Basilisk II, SheepShaver, and other classic MacOS emulators that allow me to continue in my obsolete ways.
Aldus Freehand. That's a blast from the past. I did use it for a while, but I already knew the keyboard commands for Illustrator and never did a switch.
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Old 04-15-24, 08:07 PM
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Greg Softley does great work and he’s reasonable on pricing. I don’t know how he comes up with the stickers but he has done some pretty nice custom stuff for a friend of mine. Cyclomondo is the name of his company and checking the website tells me he has a very large graphic base. I have also bought some pantograph bits from him . Great stuff!!
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Old 04-16-24, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dmarkun
I mean if the actual artwork isn't available. Do they use photos of graphics on a bike as a guide? And then reconstruct in PS by hand? How do they deal with the curvature?
I just read on a repro graphics website about one shop using a competitor's artwork and I started thinking about the whole process.
getting back to your question, I have used this technique https://lixbmx.com/tips-for-tracing-survivor-decals

I have donated some of my artwork to Greg Softley so it is available to others. The commercial value is zero, but it may help out someone in the future.
I also use Illustrator for this work
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Old 04-16-24, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Block
getting back to your question, I have used this technique https://lixbmx.com/tips-for-tracing-survivor-decals

I have donated some of my artwork to Greg Softley so it is available to others. The commercial value is zero, but it may help out someone in the future.
I also use Illustrator for this work
Thank you for this perfect answer. Seems so obvious once you know the technique.
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