Attitude of grace

Classic style of First Light T-shirt designs a priority

Classic style of First Light T-shirt designs a priority

2017 Daryn Mcbride

Pictures by Liam Clayton
Longboarder and the 2017 Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic T-shirt's graphic designer Daryn Mcbride demonstrates the the reverse kick five depicted in his cartoon.
2000 Owen Williams
2011 Owen Williams
2010 Unidentified artist
2015 Owen Williams
2016 Troy Conole
2014 Tony Ogle
2013 Tony Ogle
2012 Kelly Spencer
2009 Unidentified artist
2008 James Tanner
2002 Unidentified artist
2007 Unidentified artist
2006 Unidentified artist, possibly Owen Williams
2001 Bruce Whitley
2003 Clayton Gibson
1999 Gray Clapham
1998 Dick Calcott
1996 Owen Williams
1997 Owen Williams
2005 Unidentified artist

A rear-facing surfer poised on one foot at the nose of his longboard features in the cartoon-style graphic on this year’s Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic T-shirt.

Designed by artist-graphic designer-photographer and surfer Daryn Mcbride of Tauranga, the cartoon marks 22 years of the Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic (MFL) T-shirt imagery. Among the many Gisborne artists to design bespoke images for the T-shirts are Owen Williams, James Tanner, Clayton Gibson, Tony Ogle and Troy Conole.

The tradition began in 1996 with Williams’ screen-printed photographic silhouette of a nose-riding longboarder and high style typography. In the following year Williams created another photographic silhouette, this time of a dramatically arched longboarder, framed by a border of tropical flowers.

“Surfing with an attitude of grace” reads the tag line.

The attitude of grace and the arched back of the nose-riding longboarder at Makorori also features in Williams’ 2006 T-shirt graphic.

Williams’ design for 2000 is done in a woodcut style. The graphic features the silhouette of a cross-legged, straw-hatted surfer cradling his longboard in his lap. The surfer watches peeling waves as the sun rises over the horizon. To the left is the dark mass of Makorori Point.

Williams continues the woodcut style in his 2006, 2011 and 2015 designs.

Accompanied on his wave by a dolphin, Ian Proctor, with his signature feet-askance stance, features in Williams’ 2011 graphic. The forced perspective and spoked lines from the rising sun create a sense of drama. Makorori Point is in the background and turns up again in Williams’ 2015 design in which a longboarder smacks through the lip of a wave.

James Tanner aimed to do “something different” with his 2005, 2008 and 2010 designs. The 2005 graphic depicts a board-laden bus that was a frequent feature at the Makorori surf spot Red Bus. In the 2008 image, two longboards lean against the Red Bus’s concrete cylinder. The longdrop inside steams with its unique aroma in Tanner’s 2008 cartoon while a 1960s style cartoon of a logging truck with longboards bouncing on the back features in his 2010 graphic.

With its bubbled surf, pointillist effects and stylised surfing manoeuvres, Surfer magazine staff artist Rick Griffin’s 1960s cartoon style was a big influence on Daryn Mcbride and this shows in the Tauranga surfer’s 2017 MFL graphic.

“The design brief was open but the judging prioritised a classic longboarding style,” he says.

Judging criteria included traditional elements such as walking the board, cross-stepping, carving drop knee turns and nose-riding.

“When I drew my design I was thinking about something I do as a surfer to show as the ultimate nose-ride, the reverse kick five,” says Mcbride.

In his graphic, the artist has included stylised rocks poking out of the water. A feature of Red Bus, the rocks are immortalised on the 2017 MFL T-shirt.

Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic organiser David Timbs is keen to get hold of the 2004 and 2005 T-shirts to complete his collection. If you can help, phone David at 868 5790.

A rear-facing surfer poised on one foot at the nose of his longboard features in the cartoon-style graphic on this year’s Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic T-shirt.

Designed by artist-graphic designer-photographer and surfer Daryn Mcbride of Tauranga, the cartoon marks 22 years of the Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic (MFL) T-shirt imagery. Among the many Gisborne artists to design bespoke images for the T-shirts are Owen Williams, James Tanner, Clayton Gibson, Tony Ogle and Troy Conole.

The tradition began in 1996 with Williams’ screen-printed photographic silhouette of a nose-riding longboarder and high style typography. In the following year Williams created another photographic silhouette, this time of a dramatically arched longboarder, framed by a border of tropical flowers.

“Surfing with an attitude of grace” reads the tag line.

The attitude of grace and the arched back of the nose-riding longboarder at Makorori also features in Williams’ 2006 T-shirt graphic.

Williams’ design for 2000 is done in a woodcut style. The graphic features the silhouette of a cross-legged, straw-hatted surfer cradling his longboard in his lap. The surfer watches peeling waves as the sun rises over the horizon. To the left is the dark mass of Makorori Point.

Williams continues the woodcut style in his 2006, 2011 and 2015 designs.

Accompanied on his wave by a dolphin, Ian Proctor, with his signature feet-askance stance, features in Williams’ 2011 graphic. The forced perspective and spoked lines from the rising sun create a sense of drama. Makorori Point is in the background and turns up again in Williams’ 2015 design in which a longboarder smacks through the lip of a wave.

James Tanner aimed to do “something different” with his 2005, 2008 and 2010 designs. The 2005 graphic depicts a board-laden bus that was a frequent feature at the Makorori surf spot Red Bus. In the 2008 image, two longboards lean against the Red Bus’s concrete cylinder. The longdrop inside steams with its unique aroma in Tanner’s 2008 cartoon while a 1960s style cartoon of a logging truck with longboards bouncing on the back features in his 2010 graphic.

With its bubbled surf, pointillist effects and stylised surfing manoeuvres, Surfer magazine staff artist Rick Griffin’s 1960s cartoon style was a big influence on Daryn Mcbride and this shows in the Tauranga surfer’s 2017 MFL graphic.

“The design brief was open but the judging prioritised a classic longboarding style,” he says.

Judging criteria included traditional elements such as walking the board, cross-stepping, carving drop knee turns and nose-riding.

“When I drew my design I was thinking about something I do as a surfer to show as the ultimate nose-ride, the reverse kick five,” says Mcbride.

In his graphic, the artist has included stylised rocks poking out of the water. A feature of Red Bus, the rocks are immortalised on the 2017 MFL T-shirt.

Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic organiser David Timbs is keen to get hold of the 2004 and 2005 T-shirts to complete his collection. If you can help, phone David at 868 5790.

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Gray Clapham - 3 months ago
Re the story about the history of the design of the Makorori First Light Surfing Classic logo and T-shirt designs. Just for the historic record, the inaugural 1996 design, the hibiscus-framed 1997 design and the 1999 MFL T-shirts were designed solely by Gray Clapham. Not my fine friend Owen Williams, whose finer artistic style I later deferred too as the event progressed during the late 1990s era when Brett Papworth and then I were the MFL contest directors. Also, the 1996 T-shirt design featured an illustration created and supplied by Dick Calcott that was incorporated in an overall graphic design concept again by Gray Clapham. Not wanting to be a noter, but the story was not correct. I'm also concerned that Williams and Calcott, as artists of some local repute, would also not want my graphic design concepts mistaken for their more intrinsic artistry.

Clayton Gibson - 3 months ago
Sorry to add conjecture to article but I was the designer of the old bus laden with surfboards. I don't want a correction in the paper but could be good to have on record.

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