Steve Roach at Letter Rip Signage has been doing Rayglass’s vinyl wraps, boat names and custom graphics for two decades now. After 20 years, he’s a part of the furniture here and his incredible design and application skills are the reason all of our boat graphics look so good. 

We had a chat with the man himself to talk boating, running his own business and moving to Tauranga to escape the rat race. 

Introducing Steve at Letter Rip

Pop in to Rayglass’s headquarters in Mt Wellington and you might see Steve hard at work applying graphics or a custom wrap for one of our clients. He’s one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet so if you do see him, make sure you say hi and have a yarn. 

He’s Auckland born and bred but eight years ago he, his wife and two kids moved to Tauranga for a better lifestyle:

“I decided to move to Tauranga to escape the rat race and enjoy myself a bit more. Luckily my wife Lisa and I run the business pretty lean so we handled it remotely and kept almost all of our Auckland clients,” Steve said. 

To make it work for Rayglass, Steve and his team plan all graphics and designs in advance then commute to Auckland once a week to get the job done. Despite that long commute, it sounds like Steve’s still got time to enjoy himself:

“I do a bit of mountain biking and road riding. I enjoy a bit of kayak fishing, and flyfishing is a passion of mine. I head down to Taupo whenever I can to toss a line around,” Steve said. 

Moving with the times 

Steve started in the sign industry over 30 years ago in the late 80s so it’s fair to say he’s experienced:

“I learnt my trade working in the industry here, overseas and from apprenticing with a guy I have a lot of respect for, Tony Hill. I used to do everything by hand with a paintbrush, including handwritten lettering,” Steve said.

Despite the success Steve found signwriting in the early days, he could see the industry was changing and that he needed to change to:

“I got into digital printing and Photoshop to keep up with the times. Eventually I started my own business Letter Rip and have a bunch of interesting clients, from NZ Steel and Mercedes to Rayglass and Emirates Team New Zealand,” Steve said.

Partnering with Rayglass - 20 years later

After two full decades working with Rayglass, Steve’s got new technology and methods but the same attention to detail that he always had. We asked him about the secret behind his slick graphics:

“I always give the client what they want but also apply the principles of design to tweak it and make sure it looks good. After that, it comes down to turning around work quickly and making sure we don’t make any mistakes.”

Steve has become a key part of the team at Rayglass so we’re stoked to hear that he’s planning to stick around for the long haul:

“Rayglass makes a great product and they’re a really cool bunch of dudes. It’s been a pleasure working with them for so long. I’ll be around until they around run out of graphics to put on!”

Before we hung up, Steve added a quick request for all the boat owners out there:

“If anybody wants to do a woodgrain hull wrap, I’ve been wanting to do one of these for ages. I’m your guy!”

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