Arnold Rimmer MacBook Air Decal

I have long been a fan of design and art that interacts with its surroundings, from graffiti that uses previous graffiti or the physical world to enhance the artwork. When I started seeing Apple products with decals that used the Apple logo, I knew I wanted to participate.

All my computers, devices and hard drives have unique names and icons. My MacBook Air is no exception, it is named "Arnold Rimmer" after a holographic character from an old British Comedy called "Red Dwarf." Early on, I had ideas for what I wanted the lid of the MacBook Air to look like using the character and interacting with the Apple logo. The character has a "H" stamped on his forehead to signify that he is in fact a hologram. I wanted to use the Apple logo in place of that "H."

I looked for ages for someone who had developed this idea already. With such a clever idea, surely someone had come up with it before and developed it. I could find very few Arnold Rimmer decals out there much less one that specifically interacted with the Apple logo on the back of an MacBook.

Being the producer type that I am, I set forth to create one myself. After a few days of research on how to make vinyl stickers, and how to design them for the best experience, I downloaded two pieces of software (two that I feel like I should have already have) Inkscape and GIMP.

GIMP is a pixel editing software (similar to Adobe Photoshop) and Inkscape is a vector editing software (similar to Adobe Illustrator). Between these two programs, I was able to create a .svg (Scaleable Vector Graphics file) that a cutting printer would be able to read.

These are a few images of the process. Starting with the original image I took it into GIMP to make the image two toned. From here I pulled it into Inkscape to trace vectors around the black design. I simplified the vectors to make it look more 'decal' and less 'photo' at this point I also re-drew the eyes to make them clearer, along with the hair lines. The last image is a composition, not a photo of the final product.

After I had the vector file finalized, I contacted a friend of a friend with a vinyl printer. After coordinating the type of vinyl I was looking for and the size of the decal I stopped by his place after work. We took some time to print out a test decal, and once we got it right- we printed out eight or ten out of a single sheet of vinyl. After a few botched applications, I got the decal exactly where I want it on my laptop, and ended up with a few extra decals. If anyone wants one, or wants the vector file, shoot me an email I would love to share.