What type of artwork can I get?

One of the most common questions we’re asked is “What kind of artwork can I get?” The simple answer is – virtually anything you want. Whether it’s an icon, logo, photo, copy of a custom tattoo, etc., as long as you have the image (at the appropriate resolution) we can engrave it!

There is, of course, one major caveat- we “cannot engrave any copyrighted image or trademark without the express written permission of the owner or his/her agent.” Per our lawyers, this is a hard and fast rule.

We fully understand that this is a big decision for most people – after all, your new Illumatek windshield will be the most visible part of your bike. For some, this will be the “icing on the cake” for an already customized ride; for others, it may be the only customization they make to their ride. Either way, we genuinely appreciate each and every customer. And, while most people give this as much thought as they were a new tattoo, our windshields are much simpler (and much less painful) to replace if you decide to change in the future.

So what is the best way to find an image?

First and foremost, think about what you want. Do you already have a theme on your bike? Is there a tattoo that has a special meaning? Is this memorial shield? If so, is there a particular image that has special meaning? Is there a particular design or pattern that you find particularly appealing?

After you’ve narrowed it down, then go to the Internet is search for images. We all know how hard it is to get out of the “internet rabbit hole,” which is why we recommend you “think before you Google” (or Bing or Yahoo! or whatever search engine you use).

What do I do once I’ve found the image I want?

First, make sure you can find the image again- whether it’s bookmarking the page or downloading the image. Second, find out whether the image is copyrighted, who owns the copyright and what the license restrictions are on that particular image. (How the hell do I do that? See “How do I get a license?”)

Very generally, the creator of the artwork automatically has license to control its use and reproduction by everybody else. Ignoring those rights can have legal consequences (plus it’s unfair to the artist). 

Most websites that sell images commercially will have a specific section regarding how the image may be used (often under the hyperlink labeled “license”).  Quite often they are free for private use but restricted from commercial use. Most commercial websites will also have the costs of those various licenses available as well as a description of use under that license. For all such images we will require, at a minimum, proof of a single-use commercial license. The artist has the absolute right to set the price at what ever he/she wants. We have found that most artists are very reasonable for individual/limited reproductions.

Fortunately there are also a number of artists and websites dedicated to providing “totally free images.” Whether referred to as public domain, creative commons, or CC, these images have been granted public copyright license by the artist and are free to use privately and commercially. www.pixabay.com is one such website that we use quite frequently.

How do I get a license?

If the image you want is not from a commercial website, it becomes a little more challenging but certainly can be done. For example, we are currently working on a windshield where a customer wants the iconic image from Kuwait (Desert Storm) depicting the silhouettes of camels with burning oil fields in the background. The client sent us a picture of the image but didn’t have any additional information. We were able to do an Internet search for “picture of camels with oil fields burning in the background” and actually find the picture. After clicking on a few of the images, found a link to CNN’s website which attributed to a photographer named Steve McCurry. From there we were able to get Steve’s contact information from his photography studio. Then it was simply a matter of emailing him and asking permission to use the image or the cost of a license to use it on a single windshield. FYI, as of the date this article was written, we were still waiting on an answer.

What about superheroes?

We agree! That would be badass! And, if you provide written permission from Marvel , DC, etc. allowing us to engrave that specific image, we would be happy to do it for you.



Nothing in this article constitutes or is intended to be construed as legal advice; this is simply assistance in helping you find the perfect image for your new windshield.

As always, ride safe.



Rustic Road Run 2019

Come join us Saturday, May 18 on one of Wisconsin’s premier motorcycle runs. Starting at Wisconsin Harley-Davidson in Oconomowoc, this Poker Style Run highlights some of the most beautiful roads Wisconsin has to offer. Best of all, the Run benefits Children’s Hospital! Registration is available the day of from 8:00-10:00; however, we recommend pre-registering as this is sure to be one of the biggest and best rides of the season (pre-registration ends May 3rd). Visit the Rustic Road Riders Facebook page for more information. See you there. Ride Safe.