O Street creates graphics for Scotland’s Nation of Dreams and Ideas

O Street has designed the graphics for the National Library of Scotland’s Wha’s Like Us? A Nation of Dreams and Ideas exhibition, working with Stuco, which created the exhibition design.

The Dandy
The Dandy

The show, which opens this week, displays pieces drawn from the library’s archive which ‘celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scots and Scotland to the world’, says O Street.

Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting
Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting

The exhibition is displayed using an A-Z layout, and aims to demonstrate how ideas and innovations from Scotland and Scottish people have impacted the world. These include contributions to engineering and medicine, as well as more lighthearted topics such as jokes and ‘the ginger gene’.

The displays are set out in an A to Z format
The displays are set out in an A to Z format

Andy Graham, designer at O Street, says, ‘It’s really eclectic- you’ve got things form the 13th Century next to The Dandy – so we wanted to make the graphics really clean and simple’.

Scottish design
Scottish design

O Street devised a layout based on the idea of an encyclopedia, using typography and a colour palette that aims to echo the look of a reference book.

The pieces in the show are given coloured dots that correspond to panels of text on the walls that give a further explanation of their provenance, to avoid surrounding the objects with too much text.

Pieces are on show from the depths of the library's archive
Pieces are on show from the depths of the library’s archive

O Street was brought in to work on the project in August last year by Stuco, which it had previously worked with on projects including exhibition graphics for the Sense of Place exhibition at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Exhibition graphics panel
Exhibition graphics panel

The exhibition is part of the Scottish Government’s Homecoming Scotland 2014 initiative to celebrate the best of Scotland is this Commonwealth games year, and runs until 18 May.

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