I just decided to write a little about a small graphic design project from the past, because it proved to be popular on Instagram and I’m planning to do something new with it in the near future too. It’s part of a bigger series currently under the working title of „Modern Alba” (please don’t cringe), and it’s just my photographic takes on various Scottish cityscapes (and maybe landscapes too in the future). It all started back in 2011 when I was still a newcomer to Scotland and took loads (thousands) of pictures of everything I found interesting then played with them in Photoshop to create posters from them, or illustrations or something.
I had little intention then to pitch it to the gift market, but the idea was to show these places from an angle it’s not often seen from. As a freshly arrived person in Scotland, I was baffled how much it’s marketing itself on its history and romantic notions – which in itself didn’t seem too bad of course, who doesn’t like beautiful castles and Robert Burns poems afterall, however it shouldn’t come at the expense of the modern stuff. I felt that the industrial heritage and the more contemporary bits were a little neglected, however that I found more interesting (not because I don’t like romantic hills but because that’s what I find interesting everywhere, it’s a personal taste thing).
Maybe I’m an alien and completely alone with this though, but I thought I’d give it a second chance because times and the country have been changing: there is money being spent on tourism, there is a new bridge on the Forth, there are trams running around and a new V&A opened – and there is also a general interest in grungy cityscapes thanks to hipsters making industrial ruins popular. So, with these thoughts in mind, I decided to re-publish my old image series on this blog while I keep working away on a more refreshed and more on-trend collection to be sold as posters and cards – I will let you know when that happens, I promise it won’t be too long.
„Konkret” (please don’t cringe) was the second part of this series I designed in 2012, and this was about Glasgow and the surrounding areas (back in 2012 I included Cumbernauld in here but I’m planning to do one on something similar but better about the New Towns soon – watch this space!). I didn’t do much here, only maybe 5 designs in total. I was mostly interested in the square shaped buildings, some not the most interesting ones but I don’t particularly care about the „sightseeing” value of things when I’m out and about taking pictures, I just take a pic and see what happens when I open them in Photoshop.
I grew up in great fascination of British graphic design books and I thought Bark London were the bees knees, and a lot of my early work is inspired by stuff like they and other similar agencies did. I guess it’s coming from my own suburban upbringing, I’ve just always been attracted to the everyday forms, industrial buildings, parking lots, warehouses, cranes and all the little things that can be uniform yet somehow make a place feel familiar and my ambition was (and still is) on one hand to show how beautifully unique a particular place can be – even if you think it might be featureless, and on the other hand to think about familiar sights in a way we didn’t before, because at the end of the day, sights are also quite banal places that only became interesting on a decision.
The first one, that started it all I called Randomburgh (please don’t cringe), it featured some more obvious and recognisable bits and included the Forth Bridges too so I think it’s also due a re-working… so consider this a „taster” or a „teaser” or something. And watch this space!
If you’re interested in these though, you can order them on a few things on my Society6.com page which is not particularly tidy or well-curated, and I don’t really promote it so I’m sorry! Nonetheless some things are there, and I will organise it slightly better when I have more time (hahahhahaha!)