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Thread: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.


    I am considering getting into creating motocross graphics for bikes, and shirt designing and printing.

    However in all honesty, I don't have the faintest idea how to approach this.
    What do I do? Do I just approach a shop/company that already does this and ask them for a job, or approach it from another way?
    Say for example I want to run my own company in so many years, surely I would need qualifications or maybe I would need to take courses? Thanks x

  2. #2

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    Like all design industry jobs - people will judge you on your portfolio - not what courses you've been on. So before you approach anybody regarding a job I would get these ideas down on paper so others can see.
    Look hard at was is already being done. Take some basic shapes (hand drawn or even scanned in) shapes of mx graphics or t-shirts, and then try and adapt these designs or create your own. The more you do the better/easier you will find it. Next thing you'll find is you'll have a load of work ready to be put in a portfolio.
    I studied graphic design for 4 years, and have been doing it for a profession for 7 years. But i've met many people along the way who haven't a single qualification, but can still design very well.So don't always think that if you haven't studied it then you wont be any good!! Good luck. And this forum is a perfect place for showcasing ideas.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    If you want to get into the MX graphics and shirt printing the best way you can get ahead in the business is to actually deliver what was asked for on time. Don't think I have heard of one mx graphics/printing service that people have not had some sort of problem with.
    Some of the bigger names in the game are hopeless and make no apology for being so.
    Your Fired!

  4. #4
    Novice ktm2312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    west mids

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    so far i have contacted 5 companies to design some bike grafix for work and i havnt had a reply from any of thyem thats how hopeless they are

  5. #5

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    Not all graphics companies are hopeless.
    But it's the same as any other business. Mistakes are made and someone somewhere could be let down, it's how you handle those mistakes that makes the graphics company worthy of your custom.

    I know a lot of people aren't hiring right now, with the current economy people don't want to take on more than they can handle.

    My best suggestion is as said above, make a portfolio of designs. It's hard to give someone a chance just on the fact that they've been to college and 'think' they can produce the goods. I had someone trial a few designs for me not so long back, and they had all the college/uni backing (read: lack of experience) and for the most part over designed every design and they ended up looking poor.

    An employer would like to see what you can do, and if you need to get those designs printed I know that we offer a good deal on print-only motocross graphics.

    If you need any advice please don't hesitate to contact me on martin@spiralgfx.com or visit the website www.spiralgfx.com and check out some samples.

    (Our site is being updated this afternoon/evening with our latest designs, it's been tough to keep up with demand recently.)
    Spiral Graphics - http://www.spiralgfx.com
    Spiral Web Development - http://www.spiralwd.com

  6. #6
    Professional Thumps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    Id also say a big part of it is learning the software people use when designing and printing. Restricted knowledge of software is going to kill you, unless you plan on working in partnership where one person designs(ie you) and the other manufactures (the one with facilities and software knowledge). there are some companies in the UK claiming to be decal designers,... and their designs are shocking.

    If you have faith in your ability, it may be worth contacting some of the smalled decals companies and considering working on a price per design rate until the have confidence in you, alot of companies non mx based are trying to get into the mx industry and their design experience is JANK!"
    SHOP ONLINE @ www.mxbits.com

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    Yes, software knowledge is key!! We use Adobe Illustrator for all our designs, it doesn't really matter what version, you can pick up a version from ebay relatively cheaply CS or CS2 - they all work pretty much the same. Another company we deal with use Corel Draw to design, for them it's the software they know, but integration with our system of working isn't quite perfect. We have to do a little bit of work to their finished design for it to be ready to print/cut. But it still works fine if it's what you have. The main thing is it producing "Vector" images. I've never used it but Fireworks could possibly work.

    Designing graphics really is very easy, the simple ones are usually the best (factory yamaha are really cool) but it's having an eye for the details, like making sure the logo's are in correct positions, and that the colours are correct.

    Your major drawback is getting someone to trust you with the shapes. Nobody out there sells them, and unless you have a good connection, getting the shapes will be your biggest hurdle. We scan a current set from one of the big players and trace the outlines, and sometimes even have to get the artpad out, and hand trace them onto the plastics.

    A lot of people recently have setup making graphics in the last 6 months (us included) but quite a few of the smaller companies are just the 'design-house' and using third parties to print. This may be something you want to look at as starting up on your own would be very costly, and you may not find many vacancies for work in the industry at the moment.

    Hope this helps a little.
    Spiral Graphics - http://www.spiralgfx.com
    Spiral Web Development - http://www.spiralwd.com

  8. #8
    Senior Englishman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Carlsbad , Ca

    Default Re: Getting Started in MX Graphics, Shirt Design etc.

    There are some great self paced tutorials on a website called lynda.com for ALL design programs . A lot of the local colleges over here use them as a basis for thier lessons. VERY GOOD STUFF !
    I would check that out, we still use it every now and then in my graphics biz.

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