first in a series of collectible purse-sized cards to promote the scarborough fair collection – the UK’s largest collection of functioning vintage fairground rides and street organs.
the museum’s gavioli street organs feature decorative (sometimes performing) characters such as these and one is playing outside scarborough spa this sunday at the hugely popular vintage fair event for which these cards have been created. so if you’d like to try and collect the set why not pop on down and say hello.
photography & typography by adrian & charlotte from an original idea by rebecca.
poster design for the stephen joseph theatre. the sjt asked if we could come up with an ‘edgy’ design that matched the content and feel of this play by their youth theatre.
set in a down-at-heel traveling circus, a gang of local ‘yoofs’ discover they might have more in common with the circus than they thought, perhaps even a shared future…
we’re often asked how we come up with ideas – it almost always starts with research into the subject, or in this case, reading the script from cover to cover. sometimes there are hours and hours of scribbles behind a design but this one arrived more or less as a fully-formed idea. one of the interesting things about projects close to home is you often hear feedback and it’s been really nice to have so many positive comments fed back to us on this one.
‘don’t feed the animals’ is part of the SJT reach out festival for which we also developed the logo and brochure as well as designing the poster for another festival production, ‘beachcomber’. you can still catch the latter today and tomorrow plus the end of festival band night at the weekend.
‘your place or mine’ is currently showing at scarborough art gallery and offers perspectives of the town by two different generations of artists. as with the previous exhibition, lines of conflict, there wasn’t any artwork complete to use in promotional material so camera in hand we set out to capture some of scarborough’s typography to represent different areas and demographics of the town.
the inside of the leaflet features text from two of the artists involved in the exhibition. we also designed interpretation panels for the show which using some of the photographs as drop capitals.
stacks of newspaper style brochures are popping up all over yorkshire. it can only mean one thing – it’s almost time for this year’s coastival.
‘coastival – a different view’ takes place on 16th february with an emphasis on the visual. expect a mix of wonderful stuff for all ages from spectacular projection and holographic club visuals through to intimate artworks in unusual venues. that’s a lot of stuff packed into one day (60 events – 54 of them completely free) so pick up a brochure with the pull-out listings to navigate your way through. they’re available from tourist info and cultural venues across scarborough and further afield.
as befits a visual experience and coastival’s nature to always re-invent itself, we designed this years brochure in this newspaper format allowing space to talk about the events and give a glimpse of some of the experiences on offer. festival organisers -create arts development- also called on our way with words again to name this year’s coastival.
we’re also cooking up a little something ourselves for saturday evening, more about that nearer the time…
a couple of weeks back charlotte and i spent a day at the north keveston centre on the outskirts of lincoln with an open brief to leave temporary text interventions around the theatre, sports centre and school environs as part of an ongoing location-specific art project called ‘something wonderful’.
i’d had an idea about using block paving as a grid for lettershapes a while back and the paved area at the building entrance was the perfect canvas to try this out. this was the first of the days typographic experiments using text written by pupils at the school. we finished the quote just as it started to pour down…
‘i love west leeds’ festival produce wonderfully quirky events, installations and exhibitions in the part of yorkshire i grew up in, so i was delighted to be invited to be part of ‘home tweet home’ which runs in pudsey park today through wednesday. fifteen artists have been each given a wooden birdbox to do adapt in whatever way they want.
since i was a child with an old observer guide to british birds identifying the sparrows, tits and starlings in our garden i’ve been fascinated with phonetic descriptions of birdsong. they’re utterly baffling until you hear the song itself and are able to decipher and match up the strange collection of letters. i also find a visual delight in these collections of consonants you don’t get in everyday language and took this as the inspiration for my birdbox combined with a fascination for seemingly forgotten yet functioning vintage vending machines which also seemed to figure large in my childhood.
the ‘tweet-o-matic’ is a birdbox that issues tickets of phonetic birdsong to carry around with you. the model in pudsey park this week distributes the call of a chaffinch, one of the most complex phonetic birdsongs. i’m hoping there’ll be people wandering round the park trying to pronounce it and listening out for the call.
this has been such a fun project to work on it’s got me thinking that it would be great to develop a whole family of these, each time featuring birds common to the place they are exhibited so people who stumble across them can carry a description of the sound of that place with then as they go.
scarborough museums trust came to us with a challenge – a forthcoming exhibition of sculpture on the theme of conflict but no images ready in time to use on the advance posters and exhibition guides – did we have any ideas? “hmm,” we replied, “what if we create the title of the exhibition with sculptural type that reflects the theme…”
a few days later i’m with the always unfazed don french showing a design and explaining i want it to look as if it’s a rusted shard of a shell casing. don has already invited in a sheet metal worker for the conversation who believes he has the perfect material – an old water tank. “we can cut it back to front so all the molten metal drips through. it’ll look really rough and messy.” “brilliant!” i reply.
a week later photographer tony bartholomew and i are teetering on a cliff edge with a hunk of metal and wood trying to get exactly the right sort of clouds behind our type sculpture before we’re blown out to sea, but we’re struggling to get the right angle. tony peers over the edge. we decide that the ledge of crumbling cliff below will support the weight of a photographer long enough to get the shot…
lines of conflict opens this evening at scarborough art gallery.
what started out as an long-standing idea by charlotte to transform scarborough’s italian gardens into a typographic trail became reality on saturday evening. over 150 people came down to explore this tucked away part of the south cliff, normally in total darkness but for one night only filled with light and music and with words from local young poets and songwriters.
the ‘hidden words’ were musings on life in scarborough – a mix of honest, revealing and optimistic thoughts that might ordinarily not be heard by such a wide audience. it was great to see so many people turn out and to hear such positive comments about the trail.
the trail of hidden words was made possible by funding from ideas tap (charlotte was one of 9 recipients selected from over 200 applicants) and with support from scarborough borough council. thank you!
we’ve got a lot to be excited about right now at electric angel with some lovely design projects and public art commissions arriving from lincolnshire up to the lake district, but what’s promising to make us a bit giddy (and a tad nervous) this week is more local – the trail of hidden words.
charlotte has passion for putting words into the physical world, taking excerpts from poems and books and placing them in context. it’s one of the reasons she seemed such a good fit to join electric angel when james emigrated last year. this passion led her to apply to ideas tap who fund exciting creative projects by young people with her idea of using poetry and song lyrics by younger scarborough residents in one of scarborough’s public gardens.
saturday’s event is the culmination of this idea when the italian gardens on scarborough’s south cliff will be transformed at dusk with words and lights from local writers jamie mcgarry (founder of valley press), lee simpson & martin hughes (from band ‘everyone an army‘), ben sullivan (from ‘lazlo‘) and james koppert (rapper and founder of scarborough hip hip school.)
the event is free and takes place between 7.30-9.30. it’s suitable for all ages and has disabled access. head for the clocktower on the esplanade and you’ll find us.