Home-made used to mean cra….not very good

by Julian Westaby.

We love illustration. It’s maybe a bit ironic but the digital age has been a bit of a new dawn for illustration. In the early days of ‘tinternet’,  illustration didn’t really fit in with the rigid ‘guidelines’ and accesibility rules, so it all got a bit boring. You were encouraged to use only a  handfull of typefaces, so using illustration didn’t really enter-into discussions or briefings. Now, you’ve got even the biggest brands engaging with people on a much more one-to-one basis. Softer, more aesthetic images and illustration fit in with this. It’s spilling-over into all sorts of areas. The recent Designer quilt exhibition, run by the guys over at Marque Design demonstrated that there’s a real resurgence in ‘craft’.  Some of the most high-profile designers on the Planet took part and it’s no surprise that a certain home-spun feel can be seen, in all the best work around at the moment.

Far from being apologetic, if you’re an image designer and also a craftsperson, there’s a real window of opportunity to combine both and really push boundaries. With the credit crunch (shit, I’ve said it, I’m trying to avoid this phrase) and with people like Hugh Fearnely whatisface encouraging even the most rabid urbanite to embrace ‘real’ things, it’s an interesting time of change. When I was wee, ‘Green’ people used to be seen as bonkers. As did people who made their own clothes or had an allotment. It’s the opposite now. Which is really nice. Above all, ‘Home-made’ is now a term of endearment and that has to be a good thing. It’s encouraging a spirit of creativity in EVERYONE, not just those who went to Art School. Budding or retired artisans, get on the tools!