Proofs of Platform: 2019 Leaflet

Here is the proof of a leaflet that I have designed for Platform, Edinburgh Art Festival’s showcase for Scotland based artists at the beginning of their careers. The 2019 edition, selected by artists Monster Chetwynd and Toby Paterson, brings together new work by Anna Danielewicz, Joanne Dawson, Harry Maberly and Suds McKenna.

I have designed four previous iterations of the leaflet, using a logo and identity that I originally developed in 2015. Each iteration had a different arrangement of the cover elements alongside a new cover colour, taken from the imagery within. For the fifth year of Platform, the Art Festival invited me to refresh the identity: I have created a new look that draws on elements of the previous designs with a new size, 210 x 165mm, that aligns it with the EAF commissions booklet that I am also designing. The new design includes the circles (taken from the colon that appears in Platform: 2019) with imagery selected from one of the four artists, in this instance, the work of Harry Maberly. I have used two typefaces, Freight Sans Pro and Adelle Sans, selected for their character and readability, and have used different weights of Adelle Sans to create a new logo that echoes the previous logo, which was set in Akzidenz Grotesk. Inside, the layout follows the design of the previous four iterations but the wider page size gives a feeling of space, prioritising images. The leaflet is being printed by Allander, Edinburgh, on Horizon Offset 170gsm.

Platform: 2019 opens on 25 July and runs until 25 August at The Fire Station at Edinburgh College of Art, 76-78 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DE. Admission is free.

Proofs of ‘Stories for an Uncertain World’

I am very pleased to see the proofs of Stories for an Uncertain World, the booklet that I have been designing for the Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 commissions programme.

In the context of ‘major geo-political and societal shifts’, the EAF Commissions Programme brings together five artists with new projects that ‘reflect the uncertain times we find ourselves in, poised between the disintegration of an old world order, and taking the initial faltering steps towards an unknown future’. The participating artists are: Nathan Coley, Alfredo Jaar, Rosalind Nashashibi, Sriwhana Spong, and Corin Sworn.

For the booklet, I have played with ideas of uncertainty, using transparencies and gradients to create type that dissolves, almost to the point of becoming unreadable. The main titles are set in uppercase and centred on the page, echoing traditional book typography and creating a sense of authority that generates a tension with the ethereality of the fading type. A further sense of uncertainty is created by the use of Museo for the titles, a typeface that initially appears rational but that, on closer inspection, carries subtle quirky elements that disrupt this message. Museo was designed by Jos Buivenga – his love for the uppercase letter U inspired this unique set of fonts: “In a daydream I saw the top of both stems bended into semi-slab serifs.” It is these curved slab serifs that give the typeface its idiosyncratic character.

I have used colour gradients on the inside and back covers, an effect that I wouldn’t normally use, but that felt appropriate in this context – the sky blue echoes the landscape in the cover photograph, a still from a film by artist Rosalind Nashahibi. For the body text and captions, I have used the typeface Aktiv Grotesk, a deliberately low-key choice that sits quietly in contrast with Museo. Imagery from the five artists is placed in sections that broadly correspond to the discussion of their work in the essay written by EAF director Sorcha Carey that forms the main body of the booklet.

The 24 page booklet is being printed by Allander, in Edinburgh, on Horizon Offset 250gsm for the cover and Horizon Offset 140gsm for the text pages. The size, 210 x 165mm, follows the series of books and leaflets that I have previously designed for the Art Festival.

‘An Observation’ Invitation

Here is an invitation that I designed for my talented friend, the glass artist, Amanda Baron, who is showing at a pop-up exhibition as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. The exhibition stems from archival work undertaken by Amanda for the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust and will place her beautiful pieces alongside works by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, selected by the director of the trust, Rob Airey.


Sissy Graffiti Logo

I am currently designing a book that documents the work of the visual artist Rose Frain. This survey publication has been realised with an award from Creative Scotland and will be published by Sissy Graffiti in September 2019, with launch events and related exhibitions at the Glasgow Women’s Library, Newcastle University, and Goldsmiths College London. The book features 18 of the artist’s major projects, citing stylistic and conceptual developments; with critical essays, full chronology and bibliography.

Rose Frain has a fascinating oeuvre that covers several decades. The project is extremely relevant in the context of significant women artists and apt too since the themes of her work are so acutely relevant today.

– Adele Patrick, Glasgow Womens' Library

This is the Sissy Graffiti logo that I have designed for the book, based on a rubber stamp that the artist used on her work; the name is taken from a suite of paintings produced by Rose in the late 1980s. I’m very much looking forward to the publication of the book and it has been a pleasure to find out more about Rose’s extensive practice while working on the book with the artist and the editor, Jane Warrilow.




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