Liquor, Ducks and Hillbillies, the inspiration behind Apo snowboards Graphics…

Posted on Friday 7th January, 2011 Times Viewed: 11828
Ever wondered what goes into designing those all important graphics on your snowboard? Long standing French brand Apo snowboards have always had a thirst for original and unusual graphics for their boards. Over 25 years they have been designing and manufacturing some of the most iconic boards available and over the decades they have always managed to find the most unique and inspired artists to create designs for their boards along with some pretty darn sick riders to shred them.


Words: Sue Garlick, Tyler Chorlton, Nicolas Thomas, MC Bess
Read on to see how Andorra local and European Team rider, Tyler Chorlton combines his efforts with artist Nicolas Thomas to create some of the graphics you will see over the coming years. Also what is really involved in designing graphics for snowboards with Nicolas and another Apo artist MC Bess.

Tyler Chorlton

Years riding: Almost 12 years now

Home Mountain: Grandvalira, Andorra

Plans for this Winter: Filming again with Pirates and continuing the search

Most looking forward to: Riding my 186 Apocalypse swallow tail!

You have recently moved to Apo, what brought about the change?

I saw the opportunity to move my career onwards and upwards, give more to snowboarding with product development and be part of the deepest rooted European snowboard brand. I loved the Apocalypse snow movies.

What do you think about the Apo graphics, do you have a favourite artist who designs for Apo?

I always thought Apocalypse, A. boards and Apo have had the best graphics over the years thanks to the work of Nico Thomas and Leo Accorsi amongst others...

Would you like to get involved in the design process to direct your own graphic?

Well actually I shall be receiving my very first pro model in about a week from now, been working along side Nicolas since the end of summer on the graphic and it's coming in a new shape, flex pattern and new materials not yet seen in Apo so I'm super stoked on that!

Check out Tyler’s first APOdcast with Gerome Mathieu and Valerian Ducourtil Here

The Artists

Nicolas Thomas from Grenoble, France has been designing graphics for Apo snowboards for 16 years. Read on for an insight into how he gets from inspiration to the final product.

Click to view full image

MC Bess lives in London in the UK and designed his first Apo Snowboard for winter 10/11 available now. Check out the Yeah online at www.apo-snow.com and more work from MC Bess at www.mcbess.com

Click to view full image

How long have you been designing for Apo and how did it happen?

NT: I have designed for Regis Rolland, the owner of APO for 16 years now so
naturally, after A-snowboards closed down I started for APO straight away.

For the history of APO check out the link

MC: This board is my first work for Apo, I just got a mail from them one day asking me if I was interested in doing a snowboard , truth is I was interested.

Where did you get your inspiration from for the boards you have designed?

NT: Most of the time the inspiration comes from watching films or observing
around me, along with art, fashion, magazines and design.

This year I have designed the graphics for the Talent, Seed, BCK, Selekta, Gerome Matthieu (Coincoin), BC and the Apocalypse.

The Seed for 10/11 is directly inspired by the label of a famous liquor brand!

The Girls BCK has a sweet and tasty design that's why I drew a big ice cream that exploded into fruits, sushi, cupcakes, burgers and more, like a metaphoric parallel of the board that’s tasty and has many fillings inside.

The Selekta is a street culture board. I went to a disused factory near
my home to do some graffiti directly on a wall. I then took a shot of the design and we printed it on to the board, I really had fun doing it. I went back a few weeks ago to see if the design was still there but it had been covered by a new one.

Gerome Matthieu’s board (Coincoin) is a new pro model. I worked with Gerome who gave me some ideas for the graphic. We then worked together on a "story" to make sure we finished with a cool graphic, so this year we have a duck stealing fish and a human trying to stop him by catapulting birds! I like that one.

With the BC the aim is to show the elements. There is water, earth and wind and then the fire is inside the rider. There is also a little message printed on the board and a world map with sweet spots to inspire you to travel and respect nature.

Apocalypse is the top freeride board that encompasses the "apocalypse snow"
spirit. There is a black and white skull to symbolise the hard core roots of apocalypse snow. The strip down the centre is to affiliate snowboarding to it’s surfboard roots and gold for that precious touch.

MC: Well since we snowboard in the mountains, I got my inspiration from hillbillies, lumberjacks, and added some music to it.

How does it feel to see your designs in the shops and being ridden by riders such as Tyler Chorlton?

NT: Designing a snowboard for famous snowboarders like Tyler or Coincoin (Gerome) is very cool and for sure I am proud of it. When I do meet a rider
with a board I’ve done it’s like meeting a friend but they don’t know me!
It's a bit strange but pleasant!

MC: It's amazing. I'm a snowboarder myself so I'm so pleased to have my own board, I also spent a lot of time on the illustration so I'm really glad to see it big and varnished!

Obviously the trend is to sticker boards up or stencil them, do you design with this in mind?

NT: For me, it’s like doing a design on a wall at home and I don’t really consider it when I do a new design.

MC: I don't think about that beforehand. The design is quite busy but since it's black and white it will marry nicely with stickers and stencils .

Do you mind when you see one of your designs with stickers on it?

NT: I don't mind if I see stickers or stencils on the boards I design, I used to do it too. It's important to have a board that is individual to you.

MC: I really don't mind how people can transform their board. You have to make it your own.

Do you design with a board in mind or just design and convert it?

NT: It depends, I used to draw and paint all the time, so sometimes I think
about a specific board design and sometimes I adapt a painting or
drawing I like and make that into a snowboard design. The graphic should be the important thing with the board format secondary in order for it to succeed.

MC: I drew on piece of paper shaped like a snowboard, so it was pretty easy! I kept in mind it was going to be a board, I made a design in that spirit , I hate copy and paste .

Talk us through a piece of work from start to finish, from the first
idea to handing it over to Apo?

NT: Generally I explain my idea in a meeting and then if the idea is cool I do
some sketches in rough and a few meetings later I propose the final design.
At this point we decide to put the design in the product range.... or not!

MC: Well there were some rough sketches at first that I discussed with Apo, then a first go at finalizing it. There are always some details to tune because you need to remember that in some places you're going to have your feet and then there's the choice of ply for the board. It was very cool though, I was very free, I liked it.

If you want a chance to win a Yeah or BCK board then click here

Here are some of the boards available:

Gerome Matthieu (coin coin) board
Click to view full image

Tyler's BC Board
Click to view full image

Girl's BCK by Nico
Click to view full image

Yeah Board by MC Bess
Click to view full image
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