DINZ Partner Interview - What Does Motor Racing & Printing Have in Common !

We caught up with Dave Gick, Logick Print & Jon Chapman-Smith, Fuman, to find out what, if anything, motorsport and the printing trade have in common.

The accident itself wasn’t too dramatic but its consequences were another thing entirely.

Dave Gick, owner and director of Logick Print, grew up in a family that considered Saturday night motor racing at Western Springs Speedway something akin to “a religion”.

As such, he grew up dutifully climbing the ranks within this particular ‘church’ of adrenaline and combustion. From spectator to team helper, from 1992 World Champion and Hall of Famer in slot car racing through to midget car champion (2011-12) at Western Springs Speedway, along with several other accolades.

“I think it was March 2015 down in Tauranga,” Dave recalls matter-of-factly, “I had a little accident and I smacked the spinal cord on my neck. The bruising,” he says, “left me paralysed from the neck down”.

We are in the midst of lockdown and Dave is speaking to us through Zoom and interspersed within the conversation are regular reminders of his passion both for the sport and for his trade; for incremental improvement and methodically analysing tasks that would seem mammoth, if not utterly mad for most.

We'd been out at Logick picking up Best Awards certificates and noted a job hot off the press. It was just lovely … exciting even. So we invited Jon Chapman-Smith, founder of multi-disciplinary design studio Fuman, who had engaged Dave for this eye-catching project to jump into our Zoom chat.

“Dave is a master of his craft.” he says emphatically. “For us as a studio, this project was super satisfying as we were able to fully realise the vision we had from the very beginning,” says Jon, “and I think Dave is one of the only printers in town that could help us achieve this.”

As such, Fuman designed “20 original artworks."

The collaboration saw Jon and Dave use an impressive number of print processes including: “offset, 4 colour process, double hit black, fluoros, multiple spot colours, hot foil stamping, embossing and blind embossing”

According to Jon, “most printers would typically steer designers toward a safer path because it's expensive and time consuming to experiment with premium print techniques. Also, if you take a risk and get it wrong, there’s ramifications beyond just additional costs.

“Dave, was willing to experiment with different stocks to get the right finish, which from my experience is pretty rare.”

Dave: “The design community has always been so important to us because they want to sort of push the boundaries and do something that's new to the market. Now, we encourage that as well,” he confesses. “It's just a matter of being level headed with those types of jobs to be able to break down the steps that we have to have in place so that we can actually execute the job.”

“Dave's a rare breed,” continues Jon, “he's not only passionate about his craft, but he is prepared to go that extra mile on a job and work with us to get the best outcome.”

Although the swelling on Dave’s spinal cord eventually subsided thanks to a team of surgeons and specialists; although he started to regain feeling and movement, incrementally, from his feet and hands and on to the rest of his body; he still often finds ways to bring back the subject of racing and often finds overt and subtle similarities between it and his craft.

One can see why. The Original Heidelberg Platen Press from the 1960s which he quotes as one of his favourite tools of the trade and the midget car, both perform through repetition, through rhythmic movement and both create a hypnotic and highly mechanical beat.

“What we implement today through our printing business,” Dave says, expanding on the analogy, “was the same [I used to do] through sport. It is about breaking everything down and looking at it in detail… about what sort of areas I could improve on to become more and more competitive.”

At the Pride in Print Awards Logick has taken an impressive three Supreme Awards and over 40 Gold Awards throughout the years. The apprenticeships programmes he has run have also merited several local and overseas awards.

“We get out of bed in the morning to be better than what we were before,” he says.

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.