The Scottish Endarkenment

This is the logo, poster, invitation and banner that I designed for Dovecot Gallery's Festival exhibition, The Scottish Endarkenment: Art and Unreason 1945 to the Present. Curated by Bill Hare and Andrew Patrizio of The University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Dovecot, the exhibition 'provides a radically new and fascinating presentation of the shared concerns which have obsessed many of the most important Scottish artists since the end of World War Two. The Scottish Endarkenment explores a wide range of disturbing and provocative topics, from ever-escalating international conflict, social inequality and unrest, gender identity and sexual prejudice – all fired by the dialectical struggles within the Scottish psyche between good and evil, Self and the Other. All these subjects are imaginatively treated within a variety of different interpretations and mediums – from the out-and-out horrific to the darkly satirical. Included amongst the forty or so exhibits are works by major Scottish artists including David Shrigley, Joyce Cairns and Steven Campbell.'

I used bold type to emphasise 'dark' in the word 'Endarkenment' (obviously, a play on enlightenment) both as a way of making an unfamiliar easier to read and understand, and to amplify the meaning of the title. I very much enjoy finding new ways to use Whitney, the 'official' Dovecot typeface, to create logos that are appropriate to the content of the exhibition using the wide range of weights and style that are available.

The poster follows the format and template that I have established for all Dovecot posters: a central image with bands of white at top and bottom, containing all other information. The gallery logo always appears on its own in the left of the top band to give it emphasis, with other logos in the bottom band on the right. Textual information is always ranged left. Invitations follow a similar layout. Both are always subtly adjusted according to the content whilst still maintaining the brand identity.

The lead image is a detail of Calton Hill, a painting from 2014, by Jock McFadyen. I was delighted to work with this image as Jock taught me painting when I was a student at the Slade in the 1980s. The painting has subsequently been acquired for the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland.

The banner also follows a format and template that I have developed, but usually has to be tweaked a little bit more than the poster given the narrow size and the need for logos and text to be visible from the ground (the banners are displayed high outside Dovecot Gallery, which is located at the end of Infirmary Street so the banner also need to be eye-catching from South Bridge, where most of the traffic passes).




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