Rock and Roll Taxi

This '60s-era design has a few 21st century twists.    

Bethany called me to ask how much it would cost to wrap her new minivan. She told me she was starting a new Taxi business on the coast. She said she had a name picked out and a concept in mind and after seeing some of the wraps we have done, she said she had to call us. We talked for a few minutes and before long Rock and Roll Taxi was born! I suggested wrapping different types of vehicles for the different decades that rock and roll has been around beginning with the most colorful years – the 60’s!

She gave me free reign to develop the concept as I pleased and loved it all when I presented the designs to her. She was even more thrilled with the completed wrap. I won’t get into the nuts and bolts of this project here, but would like to present the highlights of the entire process.

I usually like to throw out the most predictable solutions, but it became obvious that a peace sign would find its way back to the design. Then along came the popular Bell bottom font and tie dye prints. By the time the 1950 VW micro bus made its appearance, my original plans were pretty much shot. Always optimistic though, I decided to put my spin on the look of the 60’s with a new millennium twist.

Figure 1
I usually begin with typography and the development of the logo. You can see from Figure 1 A that just typing The Rock and Roll letters in is boring. By distorting them and fitting them to a path they take on a totally different feel see Figure 1 B. The mechanical feel of the avant-garde Taxi text of Figure 1 A makes for a good contrast, but the shape of the “a” does not lend itself to the interior treatment I have in mind. I kerned each of the letters and modified the “a” so the light weight peace sign would fit inside of it. With the vector elements in place I then modeled them in 3D (see Figure 1 C). I have a very busy background in mind for the wrap so I added a black outline to the Rock and Roll letters so they would pop. Of course the texture just had to be tie-dyed (see Figure 1 D). They remind me of the balloons you get at the fair, definitely happy! I wanted the Taxi letters to advance from the canvas so bright white was the color of choice. I then added some of the background colors to the inside of the peace sign to complete the logo.
rock and roll figure 1 0

Figure 2
Nothing says “rock and roll” better than psychedelic paint on a 1950’s VW Micro Bus! But, it has been done way too many times. We wanted to give a modern feel to a flashback type vibe. With this in mind, a stock micro bus just looked boring (see Figure 2 A), so we chopped it (see Figure 2 B. Look on the net and you will see plenty of chopped VWs. They are no doubt cool but we are in the business of taking everything to the next level so we bowed the body, tubbed the wheels and gave it a second set of eyes (see Figure 2 C). To complete the transformation we wrapped the model in two types of fractals (see Figure 2 D).

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Figure 3
Fractals have the appearance of the art of the 60’s and the hi-tech look of today – perfect for this project. Flame fractals (see Figure 3 A) are very organic while traditional Mandelbrot fractals (see Figure 3 B) exhibit self repeating patterns at different scale or levels of magnification. However you define them, fractals are just groovy.

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Figure 4
This is one of the proofs I presented to my customer. All of the graphics wrapped on the 3D model of her van made for a very convincing presentation. This type of presentation makes it easy for people who cannot visualize how the completed wrap will look. Placed in front of a photograph of the studio, makes it look like the car has already been completed.

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Figure 5
Here is the completed wrap.

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Figure 6
This week’s project is still in the works but I have completed the 3D part of the project. I used the same process developing the customer’s existing logo. Figure 6 A shows the clean vectors I recreated in preparation of building the 3D geometry (see Figure 6 B and Figure 6 C). The details on the final textured Caddy turned out even better then the VW Micro Bus (see Figure 6 D).

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Figure 7
They say the devil is in the details, and I think that it is true. The close up detail of the existing logo is OK (see Figure 7 A), but the detail of the developed logo is simply amazing (see Figure 7 B). 

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Figure 8
This artwork will cover the side of their box trucks and this level of detail and clarity of resolution will not change. I hope I was able to show you something interesting with these to projects. I encourage everyone to do their best work every day!

rock and roll figure 8 0

* From the 2014 issue of WRAPS magazine.


Dale Dunnihoo

Dale Dunnihoo is the owner of Intelligent Design Studio in Mobile, Ala.

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