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Building great looking surfboards is partly science and partly art. Whereas science forms the bulk of great board design, it is the artistic bit that makes a great design look aesthetically appealing. All the same, everyone has their own personal taste and preference. In that spirit, today we will look at how to design surfboard rice paper logos.
The history of Rice Paper
In ancient Xuanccheng, just at the onset of Tang Dynasty, a fine paper was created using rice straws and the bark of Wingceltis. The Chinese people named it “Paper of Xuancheng” after the town where it was first produced. For the rest of the world, it is called “rice paper” after the raw material used to make it. Years after it was discovered, local painters still preferred silk over rice paper (since the paper was barely a foot long). However, painters were intrigued by the papers’ property with ink and it didn’t take them long to start producing big papers. The big leap to paper for painting was on.
Artistic representation of a fish on a Japanese Rice Paper
What is Rice paper made from?Modern Rice paper is made using cellulose fiber. Cellulose fiber is available in various forms. Manufacturers have thousands of plants they can use to extract cellulose fiber. The choice of fiber to be used depends on;
- the length of paper needed
- the availability of the plant
- the ease of harvesting
The most common plants used to make modern Rice paper are; Rice, bamboo, Wingeceltis, Hemp and Mulberry. As much as we have many classifications of Rice Paper, we can classify it into two broad categories based on its porousness; sized paper and Unsized paper. The latter is porous and absorbent while the former is less absorbent. The level of absorbency may be affected by the different plant fiber used. For instance, mulberry paper is less absorbent while bamboo paper is very absorbent.
Make your own custom surfboard Rice Paper logos
In the early sixties and late fifties, surfboard logos were mainly screen printed. Being screen printed meant that the varieties were limited to a few water slide decals. Anyone who has ever made one will agree that there were quite temperamental.
Vintage Surfboard logos
With the advancement of print technology, screen printing progressed with technology. Direct printing on rice paper became possible – such that, when the decal is glassed on the surfboard, the material assimilates the resin and turns transparent. Despite being expensive, screen printing remains the perfect choice of adding solid inks, like white, to surfboard logos. Also, it comes in handy in instances where we need to replicate the same surfboard logos design in large quantities. Today, you can have almost any decal glassed onto your board as early as the manufacturing stage or later.