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Running a fashion label with RISC OS

By Chris Williams. Published: 16th Oct 2005, 16:25:41 | Permalink | Printable

Independent t-shirt design in Germany

Buried deep within southern Germany, an artist puts the finishing touches to a new t-shirt design for an independent clothing label. The designer leans back from the screen to review his graphic, and hits F3 on his Iyonix to save it. Werkoderko is a Munich-based fashion company that designs graphics and motifs using RISC OS, and artist Maximilian Lueckenhaus says he wouldn't use any other platform.

The group has been producing t-shirts for two years now, and previously worked on advertising designs and graphics. Their current season uses 10 cartoons, ranging from Bavarian contests to city landmarks.

An example graphic by Maximillian of a mad scientistA design begins life as a series of black and white drafts, drawn by hand in pencil. If the graphic is approved and is suitably humorous, the drawing is inked in with black pen. Then the picture is scanned using a RiscPC running RISC OS 4 with a Canon scanner, and transfered via ShareFS to an Iyonix. Photodesk and Paint are used to touch up the image and fill in areas with flat colour. Image Outliner, originally published by Iota Software and now R-Comp, is then used to convert the bitmap image into a vector graphics file.

Maximillian commented, "I just can use all default parameters of Image Outliner and always get very good results, as it preserves the cartoon-style of the drawing."

He used to be a Vantage user, but Maximillian has since moved to ArtWorks 2 to process vector graphics. Using this, colours are enhanced and lines tweaked, before text and additional logos are overlayed. The work is finally exported in Postscript format, and sometimes in PDF although this lacks CMYK support. Their t-shirt printer, a local printing firm, eventually works out the colours to be mixed for the silk-screen printing production. Although you can't rush artistic perfection, it takes around an hour's work on the computer to produce a new design.

"The printer was quite amazed when my partner came to him the first time and had all the motifs of our first edition, five in total, on a simple floppy disc. The printer had expected the common monstrous bitmap files with over 300dpi, and not these smart vector files," he said.

Their website was also produced using RISC OS, from the graphics in ArtWorks 2 to writing the Perl code and XML files for the online shop. Maximillian said he preferred using the platform because, according to him, "it has a very smart GUI with a really consistent drag and drop technology."

He added: "I love the RISC OS 'Save File Box' and the automatic update of Filer windows. There is good, and easy-to-use software for working with vector graphics under RISC OS, and it is very easy to interchange data, such as images and text, between different programs under RISC OS. Whenever you select something from one program and drop it onto another one, you can be sure - most of the time - that the other program will do something sensible with it. It is just a smart way of working.

"And you don't have to deal with updating your OS with service packs all the time to get some more performance and some more security. RISC OS does not need much maintenance work at all."


Werkoderko website Example cartoon graphics made using RISC OS by Maximillian

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Great article. This just proves that RISC OS can still be used in business for specifical applications, and isn't unsuitable because it can't do absolutely everything a Windows box can. Plus as [link] shows, when you want to work you can just switch the RISC OS machines on and get on with it, and not spend the first x minutes dealing with whatever updates Windows/AV/Spyware/Applications wants you to install today.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/10/05 9:51AM
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Exactly. I understand Werkoderko's preference in this field of work. I, too, still choose RISC OS simply because of its direct and obvious way of doing serious work. Yes, it doesn't have some of the latest tools and gadgets, but in the end, you can save serious time and unnecessary effort with it compared to some of the more popular alternatives.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/10/05 3:16PM
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"...and not spend the first x minutes dealing with whatever updates Windows/AV/Spyware/Applications wants you to install today."

The PCs in my school are worst than just those few mentioned above.

I have been recently trying to accept that the PC is much faster than my old RO4, but the truth is, the newer PCs in the school environment are not faster than my RO4.

There are so many virus scanning, spyware, user access, school service provider filters, pop ups left right and centre all day, and viruses living in our computers, that our school computers are so often far from acceptable and trouble free on a daily basis.

Yes, I can get Internet Explorer to bring up web pages so much faster than my RO4 both on the same school server etc., but lately I'm thinking how quick my slow old RO4 is with the (supposed) slow Oregano2 compared to the nonsense mentioned above the PCs take for granted.

Hopefully with Oregano3 and the Firefox developments, links that don't work and a few other features needed will very soon be a thing of the past?

P.S. The horrible school filters our school connected to about 3 months ago, blocking unwanted sites and some of my favourite ones (including Drobe) :-(

I have only just saved a few pennies recently to get my own web broadband connection at home, to bypass the block and back on to Drobe News. :-)

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 22/10/05 9:36AM
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