The design story: Malmesbury skyline

This is the first in a new series of blog posts about the process behind the poster designs.

This design is where the whole idea was born. Cotswold Poster Co began life as Malmesbury Card Co, as I started by trying to scratch my own itch – that of wanting some greeting cards of the town we had recently moved to. The obvious design to start with was a view of the town, so I began working from a photo I took from Daniel’s Well.

Malmesbury town skyline view

I’d say Malmesbury is unique for towns in the Cotswold area in that you can view all of the town centre on a hill from the fields around (with the Abbey and bell tower clearly visible too) so it lends itself well to a skyline. The first version I did was the town in daytime and was on a landscape card as that lent itself best to the panoramic view. This was completed with my first go at typography for these designs, which was a bit of a muddle. 

Malmesbury town greeting card

Of course greeting cards very much suit the portrait format better so I needed to create this version too. As shifting to this format it meant there would be a lot more sky visible I decided to do something more interesting with it and have a bold orange/yellow sunset. This also played to the idea of it being a hyper real graphic design representation. I added some birds to reference the jackdaws that live around the Abbey and the typography got a bit simpler too.

Early Malmesbury sunset greeting card

I soon realised that as these images where somewhat inspired by old railway posters, they should be posters rather than cards. So the portrait sunset poster was the very first design and the landscape idea was shelved. I simplified the typography again, and whilst the font was the same across both lines, I introduced the consistent principle of the secondary line of text being in yellow.

Early Malmesbury sunset poster design

Later I came to revisit the idea of the daytime version of the design in poster form, making it a limited edition design of 25 and still the only landscape one. This version was the first to take the text away from being overlaid on the image to try something many railway posters would do. 

Malmesbury limited edition poster