This is a post close to my heart, and a project a long time in the making. One of my best friends in the world, Austin Norlin, mentioned the idea for this to me several years ago (maybe summer of 2009?) and I am pretty excited that I can finally show you the result. Austin and I have spend a lot of time together on opposite sides of the lens. You may recognize him from many of the images on this blog over the years, including the one below.
Austin and I grew up snowboarding and working together at our local resort. He got good and moved to Utah to go to school, I started to take photography and design a little more seriously and spent less time actually riding a snowboard.
Even though we have seen less and less of each other, we still make a point to get out in the boat on a regular basis to drive a wake set, surf, or just hang out and drink a few man sodas. Which brings me to the point, the other star of so many images, Austin's Air Nautique 211.
If you have seen this boat, you know that it ships with a, shall we say, "less than timeless" set of printed vinyl decals. Of course, these pseudo-chrome, digitally printed graphics start to look really shabby after a few bumps on the lift and the sun starts to have it's way with them.
We knew that we wanted to replace them with something simple and clean, but never really got around to doing it until this year. You can actually order any number of graphics kits from the manufacturer and other third parties for this, but there wasn't anything available that really fit what we were looking to do.
Then, in May of this year, I made a bit of a leap and purchased the necessary gear to start doing my own cut vinyl work, and the light bulb went back on. We could now finally finish this project, and we could cut out anything we wanted.
I did several renders of the boat with different looks and below are the final two that we picked from.
It can be kind of hard to reign the ideas back in when you start to think about how crazy you could get with a blank canvas like this. In the end, the choice was simple. Black on white, with the classic Nautiques logo was the only way to go.
We did a complete clean and detail on the hull, removed the old decals, rust and water stains, and polished the whole thing before laying on the new graphics. The graphics themselves were cut in glossy black Oracal 651, which is one of the most cost effective, thinnest, and most durable calendared vinyls available. A very good material for marine and outdoor applications.
Here you can see that classic Nautiques logo, clean as can be. On a lake where everybody knows who's boat belongs to who, there were definitely some heads turning when seeing this girl for the first time. The whole project was done in less than a week, including design time, but on an admittedly relaxed schedule. I would think it could be done in 48 hours if need be, maybe even faster with the necessary motivation.
Man and his machine. So stoked.
Just a note (Ok, it's really a plug):
I have no plans to become a full on vinyl shop, I don't have the heart to push out the volume of crappy work to make that profitable. Photography will always be at the core of what I do. That said, I do spend a good deal of the working day working on things like logo and web design, and I have been know to accept a large variety of projects that include various elements of photography, video, design, production, and fabrication. Send me an e-mail (hint: contact) if I can be of help on your next project.
More to come. -J.H.