Lyall Bruce and Johanna Basford have worked together over the last year on a couple of projects. Closest to home is the poster for Central Station Dundee Popup, which allowed them to develop on from a previous collaboration for NEoN (North East if North) in 2009.

They created both of the  works by passing the design between the two of them. Lyall, who is a graphic designer and sooperdd entity, always works digitally (he said he had attempted to include a pencil sketch he had made at the start of the project but was too embarrassed!). For the NEoN piece he started with the image of a wee guy in a hat slumped over and holding up a placard reading ‘The Future is Coming’ in the vector based imaging programme Illustrator, adding in tonal colour by ‘painting into the image in Photoshop’ using a graphics tablet.

Johanna is completely opposite in her process where she always works in a lo-fi and hand made way. Her artwork is characterised by intricate and decorative hand drawn patterns. Johanna showed the audience her drawings for both the projects which were drawn in black ink on thin white paper. She said that part of her process with Lyall had included balancing a pyrex dish on her knee with a lamp angled under it to make a d.i.y. light box so she could trace through parts of Lyall’s design to work around. Having said that, Johanna does use Photoshop to scan and clean up her drawings to use in different formats.

Lyall was in charge of combining the two images. Lyall was nervous about adding colour, (he had coveted amending Johanna’s drawing with marker pen for a while) but bravely went ahead and  brought a few points of colour into Johanna’s monochromatic design to tie it with his Photoshopped character.

For the Central Station leaflet they also included photographs of Dundee scenes and buildings, which Lyall overlaid with artworks, design and logos from the artists and organisers involved in the tour. Central station – photos from Dundee, then with members artwork hidden into the buildings. Yuck N Yum logo was on the train station, there was an illustrators artwork on the façade of the DCA. Kind of bringing what is going on behind closed doors out into the open… so fits well with the Popup tour idea!


To find out what Dundee Popup was all about or to read more reviews & blogs  from the day, click here.