Running a fashion label with RISC OSBy Chris Williams. Published: 16th Oct 2005, 16:25:41 | Permalink | Printable
Independent t-shirt design in GermanyBuried 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.
A 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."
Example cartoon graphics made using RISC OS by Maximillian
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