For those not familiar, one of my esoteric pursuits is the Toyama-Ryu Iaido,
a school of Japanese swordsmanship. With an event coming up to test for rank — which entails a bit of air travel across half the continent — I decided to properly tag my new gun-cum-sword-case for the trip.
I had no problem with the basic black of the case itself, yet as a fully-trained graphic designer, "customization" meant more than just slapping a mass-produced sticker or two on things, or stenciling a label. Instead, I prepared a full custom decal set to not only to make clear its contents, but to transform it into proper samurai gear featuring my own unique kamon.
Since my printers are unable to output white ink, I had to make do with opaque white decals and black overprint: an imperfect solution that produced decals slightly darker than the case surface, but not enough to be an issue. Print quality aside, the pebbled surface of the case meant that a good volume of decal set fluid was required to ensure proper adherence.
Shown here is the completed application prior to cleaning up the slight white halos on the edges. For aesthetic reasons, I blacked out the original, obtrusive product logo.
Once the decals were set and the edges touched up, things needed to be properly sealed and protected to survive regular handling, not to mention the bumps and scrapes of travel. Over the course of several days, I applied a thick layer of clear coat to each decal, then a single coat of matte to take off the gloss.
The final results...
The real test will be the trip itself, of course.