One of my favourite things about my job is variety. We work with a wide range of clients, which is great because it’s always interesting to get an insight into other industries and how other businesses operate. It also means that with different projects come new challenges and this is something we always thrive on.
Queen’s Baton Relay
Recently a nice little job came through the door from Team Wales – an organisation set up to support Welsh athletes at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In the build up to the Games there’s a Queen’s Baton Relay, in which the Commonwealth Baton gets taken on a route around the world, through 70 nations. One of those nations is Wales. This is an opportunity for the general public to get involved and be part of the Games.
Our brief from Team Wales was to create a map, showing the Baton’s route through our beautiful country. Its aims were to be informative, engaging and make people want to join in and be part of the hype.
Early into the project it was decided that we would create custom illustrations of some of Wales’ finest landmarks that the baton would be passing by. These included Snowdon, Machynleth and St David’s Cathedral among others. This would help give the map some visual interest. We then used a hand drawn dashed line to show the route broken up by the day numbers. This map would always be shown along side detailed text of the route, so the route didn’t have to be too complex. It would act as a visual aid.
The map did require some text to support the illustrations, because many people may not recognise some of the landmarks, such as Dylan Thomas’ Boat House. This was a bit of a challenge as everything had to be bilingual.
Recently I have been working on improving my calligraphy skills, with much help from Molly Jacques’ Skillshare class. This has been a great platform to develop new skills at an affordable price – but like anything, the more you practice, the better you get. I’m the first one to say that my technique still needs a lot of work but I think that hand drawn typography has a real charm to it, even with small imperfections. Besides, when combined with software skills those imperfections can be tidied up in the digitising process. For example, if I'm not 100% happy with the 'S' at the end of 'Dylan Thomas' I can simply write a few more, then rearrange them later using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
I felt calligraphy could be a good option for this project, as it would fit in with the illustration style. It would also give me the freedom to position the text around illustrations exactly as I wanted to – giving me complete control. If I had used a typeface I would have been more limited.
It was good fun to work on a project with such creative freedom. We’re happy with the outcome, and hope that it encourages people to get involved with the Queen’s Baton Relay and to support Team Wales at the Games.