July 10, 2014
For Nutcase founder Michael Morrow, designing good helmet graphics is not an easily defined process – start with an idea, play with it, manipulate it, mix in new influences as they occur, throw out and add in, all in order to keep moving toward a graphic design for a helmet that is completely original and yet strikes some chord in anyone who sees it.
Take the Daisy Dream helmet, one of our newest designs of the Gen3 launch of earlier this year.
Daisy Dream is one of Nutcase’s most ambitious graphic designs to date. That’s because making those photorealistic bright orange daisies float in a blue sky above green grass and then putting that all onto a sphere is, well, challenging.
“From the very first days of Nutcase I wanted to do photorealistic,” Michael says. “As we realized how exacting and painstaking the process is of placing complex graphic decals perfectly onto spherical helmets, well, there was a learning curve we had to climb.”
Already by 2006, however, having worked closely with the factory to perfect decal placement, Nutcase began to experiment with photorealism on the ‘Daisy Stripe’ helmet.
In the Daisy Stripe, bold and expanding black and white stripes form the background for bright Gerber daisies. Getting those daisy decals to look as real as possible without any ‘halo’ effect from their almost neon colors, as well as place them correctly on each and every helmet was all sufficiently challenging.
It was worth it, however, as Daisy Stripe became a very popular women’s helmet choice.
To Michael, Daisy Dream is the next generation of Daisy Stripe, which was retired at the end of 2013.
“After daisies we were ready for the challenge of a photorealistic blue sky, which has to be gradated to look truly sky-like, as well as the green grass, which is not only a Nutcase motif, it’s also pretty hard to get to go around 360 degrees in one big decal,” he says. “It was arduous, we went through so many iterations, but now it looks awesome.”
Here’s a fun fact from the Nutcase files: On the assembly line, it takes approximately 15 minutes for a skilled decal applier to position the decals by hand onto a Nutcase Daisy Dream helmet.
Get a closer look at those special features of the Daisy Dream here.