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The Beetleness and Flathead Graphix story.

2019 was a pivotal year for Beetleness. Beetleness was created to showcase some of my own artwork and to support the website – the history VW forgot. SEBeetles is a non-profit site and does not carry advertising purely for the benefit of VW fans worldwide and thus encourage editorial contributions. It has become famous for its comprehensive list of all the special edition Beetles and its in depth analysis of the production methods that led to them and why. However the site has costs, simply in order for it to exist on the web and be available to all. The team and its contributors are all voluntary.

We are particularly happy then to have been able to announce a partnership with Deborah Reade of Flathead Graphix. Deborah worked with illustrator Peter Aschwanden on the legendary workshop manual ‘How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive’ by John Muir. They were married until Peter’s untimely death in December 2005. Deborah and her family own the full rights to all Peter’s artwork but she also has a considerable interest in her own graphics and realtor businesses and less time to produce the t-shirts that Peter used to offer. I had heard that the t-shirt offering was about to end from a member of the SEBeetles Facebook Group during a discussion on favourite t-shirt designs and I subsequently contacted her about a link up. She was very keen to give it a try. After several emails and Skype sessions a licensing contract was drawn up and as her daughter Sophie and husband Tim were visiting London later in the year I was able to meet up with them over a drink and exchange contracts. I presented some pre-production shirts which they readily approved.

Deborah has now written in the Flathead Graphix Facebook page – ‘You can still order sale T-shirts until January 15th through, but after that Flathead Graphix will not be selling individual shirts. However, you can continue to find Peter’s wonderful designs on T-shirts through in the UK. They are fully authorized by Flathead Graphix and we work closely with them to make sure you’ll always receive the same great quality that you have in the past. Shipping out of the UK is much more reasonable than US shipping, so prices are good as well.

In fact, Beetleness is already selling some of Peter’s designs including a couple of extra designs that we don’t sell. They also have some T-shirt colors that we don’t have. In the past we’ve pretty much followed what Peter did with the shirts when he was alive but we really like the way Beetleness has changed things just a bit.

We feel that Peter’s artwork is in good hands with Beetleness and that through them his designs will still be out in the world for everyone to enjoy.’

I must also particularly mention Richard Curtis at DM Screenprint my long-suffering t-shirt printer who has steadfastly provided huge support and technical info. So all in all a very positive result for both SEBeetles and the Aschwanden legacy. Deborah and I are in regular contact about all aspects of the shirts and we will work hard to ensure the quality of Peter’s work is upheld.