The Marketing Department


52 inspiring people, events, campaigns, brands, organisations and products and everything else that helps make Mondays more bearable and get our creative juices flowing.

Follow us on social media to keep up with the series as it rolls out every Monday until April 2019:

Inspiring Your Monday: 52 sources of inspiration for Team TMD

52 Mondays.

52 inspiring people, events, campaigns, brands, organisations and products and everything else that helps make Mondays more bearable and get our creative juices flowing.

IYM Week 52: Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival

Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival is an annual event that takes place each September. From new architectural wonders and important cultural settings to old and historic venues, many organisations take part in opening these buildings free-of-charge to the public. Quite often too, visitors are given the opportunity to see parts of these buildings that are otherwise closed the rest of the year.

Some of the notable venues to have taken part over the years are Glasgow City Halls and the Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow City Chambers, Glasgow Film Theatre, Govan Old Church, Merchants House of Glasgow, Pearce Institute, Pollok House, Provand’s Lordship and the STV Headquarters.

The Glasgow Festival is organised by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and ties in with other festivals happening elsewhere in Scotland.

As well as the opportunity to see inside these venues, many events are also held to give visitors the opportunity to engage with the space in interesting ways, meet new people and try new things.

More reading:
Glasgow Doors Open Days
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust

Photos from
Glasgow City Chambers taken by MichaelDBeckwith, Pixabay

IYM Week 51: Pete Souza

Pete Souza is an American photojournalist and former Chief Official White House Photographer Barack Obama, serving the president for both of his terms.

His work in documenting Obama’s time in office is captured beautifully in the book Obama: An Intimiate Portrait. It chronicles the administration from before it was even an administration - the earliest photo dating from 2005 - to Obama’s final flight on Executive One during his last day in office.

Pete also served as a photographer during the Reagan administration from 1983 to 1989.

We love spectacular photography at TMD and Pete is one of the most inspirational photographers we’ve ever come across. 

Pete Souza Photography
Pete Souza Photography

More reading:
Pete’s Biography
Purchase Obama: An Intimate Portrait

Photos from
Pete Souza

IYM Week 50: Scottish Women in Sport

Scottish Women in Sport are a group of like-minded professionals involved in the administration, coaching, broadcasting and promotion of sport, and in the wider legal, business and commercial sectors, with the common aim of getting more women and girls involved in sport, promoting positive role models, sharing good practice, securing more media coverage and ensuring increased investment.

We are very much inspired by any organisation that works to promote equality in whatever industry it resides. SWIS is a great organisation that is outward looking and proactive in encouraging the advancement of female sport in Scotland.

Maureen McGonigle, Founder and CEO of SWIS recently spoke at Via Sponsorship, an event with which we were heavily involved, overseeing the branding, design and promotion. Maureen is also a board member of Scottish Sports Futures, a charity supporting community outreach through the medium of sport with whom we have also had the honour to work. More on what we have done for Scottish Sports Futures can be found here.

More reading:
Scottish Women in Sport website

Photo from:
Taken from SWIS website

IYM Week 49: Scottish Government Rebrand

Since devolution in 1999, the administration in Scotland was known as “The Scottish Executive.” For several years thereafter, it was argued that no one understood what that meant. Scotland and Northern Ireland had the only 2 administrations in the world not to use the term ‘Government.’

In 2007 the step was taken to rebrand to The Scottish Government, it cost around £100,000 in total. Replacing the Royal Standard with a stylised Saltire added to the idea that the government was of and for the people and that the people of Scotland are sovereign. The rollout was pretty quick and straightforward, they did not come up against much opposition to the rebrand and the public and media took to it relatively quickly.

A brand should have impact, be memorable and be clear what it is. This was a good rebrand.

More reading:
Scottish Government website

Photo from:
Benjamin Brock

IYM Week 48: Ecosia

If you are looking for an alternative search engine, then look no further than Ecosia. This company behind this search engine is committed to the fight against climate change and uses its revenue to plant new trees around the world. Their home page keeps a growing tally of trees planted thanks to their users. You can help the planet and find what you need. President Obama once said, "We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it,” and he couldn’t have been more correct. Let us all play our part.

More reading:
Ecosia search engine

Photo from:
Screen grab of Ecosia site

IYM Week 47: Apple's Better Video

Back in April 2014, Apple  released a campaign that quietly announced a new direction for the company: to move towards a culture of environmental responsibility. 

Narrated by CEO Tim Cook, the video declares that the Cupertino, California company was actively looking at ways to reduce it’s environmental footprint. It also unveils a number of steps already taken - efforts to reduce the amount of packaging used, new data centres powered exclusively by renewable energy, and efforts to keep their products out of landfill sites.

The video launched alongside a microsite outlining Apple’s plans in greater detail. Over the years they have continued to update this site with new initiatives and successes in their sustainability plan.

We live in a world of finite resources and increasingly damaging climate change. We find Apple’s dedication to being more environmentally responsible across their entire supply chain to be a great example of a massive company pushing forward in an environmentally responsible way.

More reading:
Apple’s Environment site

Photo from:

IYM Week 46: Obama Campaign Logomark

Created by the Chicago-based agency Sender, the logo and brand visuals used for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was very positively received.

Making it’s first appearance on February 10 2007, the logomark was adaptable to a variety of uses - critical for the first presidential campaign that relied heavily on social media.

The designers of the logo also created twelve different identity groups, and one for each state. There were also variations for Republicans and Independents who supported Obama’s bid for the presidency. 

Noted designer Michael Bierut referred to the campaign’s branding as "just as good or better" as the best commercial brand designs. "Every time you look, all those signs are perfect," Beirut said. "Graphic designers like me don't understand how it's happening. It's unprecedented and inconceivable to us. The people in the know are flabbergasted."

The campaign, of course, was a stunning success. The Obama Administration may now be over, the the brand lives on as the primary brandmark of the Obama Foundation.

Further reading:
Designing Obama

Photo from:
Pacific Standard

IYM Week 45: Alexandra Shulman's Inside Vogue

Alexandra Shulman was editor-in-chief of British Vogue for 25 years, until she stepped down in June 2017.

During her final year, she kept a diary of her day-to-day life and job. It revealed an emotional and logistical minefield of producing the 100th anniversary issue of the magazine. At the same time it gave a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the management of the year-long series of celebratory events - all of which were being planned and executed while Richard Macer shot a documentary for the BBC. 

As creative designers and event managers, we could relate to Alexandra’a struggle to keep it all together and greatly admire her ability to deal with overwhelming stress. A great read if you like to get behind-the-scenes.

Further reading:
Alexandra’s Wikipedia page
Alexandra on Twitter

Photo from:

IYM Week 44: KFC's February 2019 Apology Campaign

Back in February 2018, KFC learned the hard way that it’s not always easy to change suppliers, especially for your key menu item - chicken!

The poorly managed switchover resulted in many of their outlets not receiving their deliveries and more than half of their 900 restaurants had to close their doors.

Naturally, this caused Twitter to blow up:

Twitter response to KFC
Twitter response to KFC

The company later responded with a printed apology in the Sun and Metro newspapers:

KFC Apology Campaign advert placed in the Sun and Metro newspapers

It opens with: “A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It's not ideal.” We can only agree.

But what IS ideal is how they turned this logistical catastrophe into a marketing win with a simple tongue-in-cheek graphic and some copy. The apology appeared only once but reached 796,709,795 people through editorial coverage and 219,138,216 people through social media.

Well played, KFC.

IYM Week 43: Jony Ive

Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, is the creative genius the company’s iconic designs and products over the past few decades. 

He first came to prominence when Steve Jobs picked him to help take Apple in a new direction. This new direction was unveiled to the world with the release of the iMac, the computer and concept that arguably saved Apple. Ive would later go on to design products such as the iPod, MacBook, iPad and Apple Watch.

Ive’s importance to the company has been recognised with a series of promotions and new projects being given to him, including overseeing the design of the company’s new headquarters in Cupertino, Apple Park.

Apple Watch
Apple Park, Cupertino

Further reading:
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

Photos from:
Time magazine
Carles Rabada

IYM Week 42: Celtic Connections

Held in Glasgow every January, Celtic Connections is an arts festival celebrating Scottish culture and music, by bringing together artists from multiple disciplines both in Scotland and around the world. It also has an educational ethos and school children from across the city take part every year, getting to enjoy free performances, shows and seminars.

Since 2006, the Artistic Director of Celtic Connections has been Donald Shaw, a founding member of Capercaillie. Shaw stepped down in 2018 so we are excited to see where the festival goes from this year onward.

Our team have visited many Celtic Connections shows and performances over the years and are inspired by the music, the culture and the ‘buzz’ created throughout the city, a good way to deal with those January blues. The very first Celtic Connections brochure, back in 1994, proclaimed Glasgow as the ‘warmest place in January.’

Further reading:
Celtic Connections website

Photo from:
Gaelle Beri

IYM Week 41: Wayfindr

Wayfindr is an award winning, non-profit tech company supporting blind people to navigate independently in indoor environments. It is a joint venture between RSBC and USTWO. 

Wayfindr launched an app in partnership with Transport for London that enables blind people to navigate the London underground - a daunting experience for most people. The app was a community-led design project, working with blind users of the underground. It is essentially an app for blind people, by blind people.

We hope Wayfindr will grow and expand its products to support blind people not just in London, but all over the UK and beyond.

Further reading:
Wayfindr Website

Photo from:
Wayfindr official photo

IYM Week 40: Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne, a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, is another example of Scotland The Brand. The literal English translation is ‘old long since,’ essentially meaning ‘in days gone by.’ It could be argued its the Scots way of saying ‘once upon a time.’

Although it was not written for a particular date or holiday, the song has become synonymous with Hogmanay celebrations, or New Years Eve for non-Scots, a symbolic way of saying goodbye to the year that has just passed. It is sung in almost every country in the world both in English and in the many languages into which it has been translated.

The song has been performed by some of the world’s most well known performers. From Mariah Carey, to Aretha Franklin and Jimi Hendrix. It has also appeared in blockbuster movies such as It’s A Wonderful Life, When Harry Met Sally and Sex And The City which used a beautiful version by the Scottish singer Mairi Campbell.

In Scotland the song will also be traditionally found at the end of wedding receptions and ceilidhs. We are proud to sing Auld Lang Syne, Scotland’s musical gift to the world.

Further reading:
Robert Burns Website

Photo from:
The first page of the Manuscript Division’s photographic reproduction of the “Auld Lang Syne” manuscript.

Week 39: Refuweegee

Refuweegee is a community-led charity in the city of Glasgow, its aim is help refugees who settle in the city, provide them with necessary items when they can and support them getting to know their new community. The charity involves Glasgow’s citizens throughout all that it does, it holds events to foster introductions, encourages local school kids to write letters and last year began a Christmas drive to ensure all kids new to the city had something on Christmas morning.

The name Refuweegee is a play on the word Weegie, a shorted version of Glaswegian (a citizen of Glasgow). Its more than just clever word play though, it is to reinforce their message that although these groups may be new to the city, they now belong to the city, that they too are now Weegies.

We are very inspired by this organisation’s approach to their branding and by the welcome they provide to the people who have come to Glasgow under the worst of circumstances.

Further reading:
Refuweegee website

Photo from:
A shot from Refuweegee’s twitter page

IYM Week 38: Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe is an American engineer, illustrator, writer and engineer.

He is best known for his web series xkcd and the What If blog, an examination of scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions such as:

If there were a kind of a fireman's pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?

How many fireflies would it take to match the brightness of the Sun?

Munroe also occasionally publishes infographics and other pieces in response to current events. In 2011, he released a chart to compare radiation exposure levels. He did this in response to confusing reporting on radiation levels in the media. The chart attracted widespread interest and he decided to place it in the public domain so it could be freely translated and used.

Further reading:

Photo from:
Ars Technica

IYM Week 37: Paul Rand

Paul Rand was a prominent graphic designer, known for creating the logos of many large corporations such as IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Westinghouse, ABC, and NeXT.

Many of the logos Rand created are still in use today, either as they were originally created or in a modified form.

Author of Thoughts on Design, an influential book of design practices published in 1946, Rand incorporated collage and montage techniques to create a dynamic visual / verbal communications vocabulary.

One of the lesser known tales about his involvement in the development of the NeXT logo and corporate identity involves him standing up to Steve Jobs, something that very few people did. Jobs asked Rand to produce “a few options” for the new style. His response was: “No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.”

Gallery of logos designed by Paul Rand:

Further reading:
Paul Rand website
Interview with Steve Jobs about working with Rand

Photos and logos from:

IYM Week 36: Instagram

Founded in October 2010, Instagram is a photo and video sharing social network. 

An inspiring source of design ideas, we have found it useful for collaborating with other designers and to give our clients and the creative community a behind the scenes look into our work and the processes we follow when creating visual brands, websites, packaging and other materials.

Now owned by Facebook, the app has an intuitive and easy to use interface. The ability to search by hashtags means users can focus in content of interest to them, even from users they are not already following.

Further reading:
Instagram on Wikipedia

Photo from:
TMD’s Instagram


(PRODUCT)RED™ is a licensed brand designed to raise funds and awareness in order to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. 

Devised and founded in 2006 by Bono, it is used by large multinational companies. They often create a new product, or create a variant of an existing product, badging it as a (PRODUCT)RED™ special edition. Up to 50% of profits from (PRODUCT)RED™ sales then go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

This approach to ethical consumerism has gained support from world-leading brands such as Starbucks, Apple, Electronic Arts, American Express, Nike and Gap, among others.

Further reading:
Official (PRODUCT)RED™ website

Photo from:

IYM Week 34: Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Nicola Sturgeon studied Law at University of Glasgow and went on to work for Drumchapel Law Centre before entering politics.

She was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and became depute leader of the SNP in 2004.  In the 2007 general election, the SNP won their first term in government and Nicola became Depute First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health.

After the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum, Nicola became leader of the SNP and subsequently the first female First Minister of Scotland.

She has pledged to use her time in office to make Scotland a fairer and more equal society and she presides over a 50/50 gender split cabinet, of which hers was the first in the world.  Her government have passed the Gender Recognition on Public Boards Act, created the Advisory Council on Women and Girls, and committed to the real living wage while ensuring all Scottish Government employees are paid that or more. This is just a small taste of what her government has and is doing.

In 2017, Nicola was invited by the United Nations to speak at the Women of the World conference. At the event she said this,

“It’s not enough just to be a woman in a leadership position, it’s important you do the right thing with it.”

Not everyone will agree with all of her or the SNP’s policies, but it is hard to disagree with her goal of making Scotland more equal for everyone.

Watch her Women in the World interview here:

Further reading:
Official Scottish Government biography

Photo from:
Official Scottish Government photograph

IYM Week 33: Mackies of Scotland's Solar Farm

Brought online nearly three years ago, the solar farm at the Mackies farm in Aberdeenshire was the largest solar installation in Scotland at that time.

Designed, installed and maintained by our client Absolute, this impressive technology has allowed Mackies to cut their electricity spend as well as their carbon output.

As Scotland moves towards a 100% renewable energy landscape, the example set by Mackies is an inspiring example of what private companies are capable of, and the benefits of transitioning to renewables.

Photo from:

IYM Week 32: Anna Wintour

No single person in the fashion industry is more visible or powerful than Anna Wintour. In 1970, she started her career at Harper's Bazaar UK before a rapid rise through the ranks to her current post of Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue.

Brought in initially as Creative Director, she took the editorship in late 1988 with a vision to revitalise the flagging fashion bible. Her revolutionary changes (you may have noticed that we like revolutionary change at TMD) started immediately: the November 1988 edition featured a front page so startlingly different that the printer phoned to check there hadn’t been a mistake with the artwork!

The day-to-day operations of the Vogue office in the run up to the publication of the September 2007 issue are revealed in the RJ Cutler documentary The September Issue. It’s a fascinating insight into the world of publishing - and into how Anna Wintour effectively controls the entire fashion world.

IYM Week 31: Halloween

It’s that time of year again, Halloween. Time to get your costumes on and go trick-or-treating, or guising as its known in Scotland.

It may be a day steeped in tradition and belief, but nowadays it has become that one day when you can let all your inhibitions go. Its filled with creativity and design, from carving pumpkins to full house decorations.

There are some amazing blogs and websites dedicated to showcasing the best Halloween ideas. Each one inspiring in its own way.

Many things can be said about Halloween, but boring isn’t one of them.

Photo from:
Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash

IYM Week 30: Stepping Stones for Families

Stepping Stones for Families has a vision: that all children and young people have an enjoyable life in a healthy, fair and safe environment where they are respected and supported to achieve their full potential.

For thirty years, Stepping Stones for Families has worked alongside children, young people and families to give them support, opportunities and a voice in tackling the effects of poverty and disadvantage in their lives.

The drive and determination of every person who works there to fulfil this vision was obvious the minute we were introduced to the organisation two years ago.

In the time we’ve been associated we have executed their rebrand, helping them lift their profile and be more visible in and out of the third sector. And our CEO, Chris Graham, also serves as their Vice Chair!

As part of the celebrations for the organisation’s 30th year, they produced a video explaining their work and its impact:

Further reading:
Stepping Stones for Families website

Photo from:
Stepping Stones for Families

IYM Week 29: Netflix Documentary Series Abstract

Debuting in early 2017, Abstract is a Netflix documentary focusing on artists in the design world. 

Covering everything from Illustration and graphic design to footwear and interior design, it’s a great series that highlights the leaders of their fields and truly makes the viewer think about how design impacts every aspect of their lives.

It’s a fascinating look into the world of design and creation. If you’ve not subscribed to Netflix yet, this documentary alone makes it worth it.

Watch the trailer:

Further reading:
Watch on Netflix
Review from StarkInsider

Photo from:

IYM Week 28: One Scotland's Dear Haters Campaign

The Scottish Government’s One Scotland has partnered with Police Scotland and devised a new campaign called Dear Haters.

This new and inspiring campaign is an example of how a marketing and advertising tool can be used for social good. It is designed to target hate crime across Scotland and has a duel message. First to the perpetrators of hate crime, for them to understand that their behaviour will no longer be tolerated. Secondly to the victims or witnesses of hate crime, to empower them to stand up against this behaviour and to report it to the police.

The messages are design to look like letters addressed to these perpetrators and are signed off, Yours Scotland.  The 5 letters in the series are, Dear Bigots, Dear Racists, Dear Homophoboes, Dear Transphobes and Dear Disablists.

Watch the campaign video below:

Further reading:
One Scotland website

Photo from:
Dear Haters campaign video still

IYM Week 27: Annie Leibovitz

We have a love of photography at The Marketing Department. Tomorrow is Annie Leibovitz’s 69th birthday and there are few other photographers we find as inspiring.

Starting off as a staff photographer for Rolling Stones, she photographed John Lennon the day he was murdered, and was the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery.

Even if you’ve never heard of her, you’ll have seen at least one of her famous photos:

Further reading:
The Art of Photography: Annie Leibovitz’s masterclass

Photo from:
South Bank Centre

IYM Week 26: Scotland's Computer Games Industry

Some of the world’s most successful computer games have been designed in Dundee, from Lemmings to Grand Theft Auto.

It has been over 20 years since Abertay University launched the world’s very first games degrees, and earlier this year the Princeton Review again rated Abertay as the best in Europe for undergraduate games courses.

Born in the aftermath of the acrimonious shut down of Dundee’s Timex factory, the Scottish games industry now employs over 1500 people, with 2800 people in roles that indirectly support the industry.

Such is the confidence in this booming sector that the founders of 4J Studios - developers of Minecraft for games consoles - have developed a multi-million pound commercial development designed to house games studios. 

Building a whole industry from nothing is far from a game. But it is another great example of Scotland punching above its weight on the global stage.

Further reading:
DFigit: Scotland’s Videogames Industry ‘Rocketing’

Photo from:

IYM Week 25: Irn Bru Adverts

Irn Bru is no stranger to controversy in their advertising with many adverts over the years that have been loved and loathed in equal measures. But whether you are a fan or not it’s hard not to agree that Irn Bru has put Scottish culture and language at the heart of their campaigns.

The black and white adverts of the early 2000’s cleverly used pensioners, from playing tricks on their grand children to mobility scooter madness. During this time Irn Bru was accused of encouraging theft and transphobia, though most people accepted the adverts for the light-hearted way they were intended, much like Scottish humour.

In 2006 they released Irn Bru 32, with a grown man dressed as a cuckoo muttering that now infamous line, “I’ll shush you ya tweedy auld crow.”

Clever play on words in the “Don’t be a can’t” and “Fanny” campaigns followed. These certainly risked crossing a line in advertising terms, but in Scotland it’s exactly how people speak on a daily basis.

The most famous of all however has to be the Snowman parody of 2011. The rewriting of the famous song sees the snowman carry the boy throughout Scotland. Flying over many famous scenes such as Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness (and it’s monster), and Glenfinnin Viaduct until finally the snowman steals the Irn Bru and drops the boy in a snow-laden George Square. This advert is now synonymous with Christmas in Scotland and many children (and adults alike) look forward to it airing.

There is only one word that can sum up Irn Bru’s advertising over the years, and that is PHENOMENAL!

IYM Week 24: Nike's Colin Kaepernick Campaign

We have used this #InspringYourMonday series to showcase the campaigns, people and events that have inspired us over the years both professionally and personally.

But very recently there has been a new campaign from Nike that is both inspirational and aspirational so it had to be highlighted.

In a divided America, Nike has created a new narrative, a new story where everyone can be someone, where every dream can become a reality.

Using Colin Kaepernick as the face of this campaign brings an added dimension. A man who risked his career to take a stand on something he believed in, something bigger than himself.

Nike and Colin, we applaud you!

Watch the video here:

IYM Week 23: The Queensferry Crossing

Scottish engineering has been a source of inspiration to creatives for centuries. 

From Thomas Telford's Caledonian Canal to Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, to the Roslin Institue’s cloning process, Scotland has always punched above its weight and shaped the modern world with a substantial number of contributions.

The Queensferry Crossing (or the "Third Fourth Bridge" as Chris likes to call it) is the newest addition to Scotland’s famous Forth Bridges. 

Carrying the M90 motorway, it opened to traffic just over a year ago, on 30 August 2017. It’s innovative design has provided commuters more reliable journeys than the old Forth Road Bridge, which would have had to close 14 times in the year the Queensferry Crossing has been open.

The Queensferry Crossing is another addition to Scotland’s centuries-old engineering and design portfolio.

IYM Week 22: Scottish Community Development Centre

The Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) supports best practice in community development working across sectors and with a wide range of professions to support community engagement and community capacity building in any context and at strategic and practice level.

SCDC began as a partnership between the Community Development Foundation (a UK non-departmental public body) and the University of Glasgow. Since 2009, it has been a company limited by guarantee and registered Scottish charity. SCDC is recognised by the Scottish Government as the lead organisation for community development in Scotland.

SCDC’s mission is to support best practice in community development by conducting research, influencing policy and support organisations to build stronger more equitable communities.

Our Creative Director, James Anderson, worked with SCDC from 2002 - 2009, and he often talks about how he ‘grew up’ within SCDC.  As a result, SCDC and it’s work have played a massive role in shaping him, his views and his ideals. SCDC continues to inspire us today.

Further reading:
SCDC Website

Photo from:
SCDC facebook page

IYM Week 21: Sir Walter Scott

The northern highlands, the central lowlands and the southern uplands, these were the the 3 main areas of 18th century Scottish mainland. Separated geographically as well as culturally and politically. 

While the populated areas in the central belt and further south had adopted a more anglicised way of life, the people of the highlands maintained their clan culture and traditions. A narrative had formed, the people of the highlands were barbaric, fanatical Jacobites, and this narrative was told throughout Britain and the empire. 

Sir Walter Scott helped to change this common misperception. His romantic novels, such as Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, painted a new picture. They told of a beautiful highland landscape filled with tradition, loving families, feasts and festivities. He described how they spoke, what they wore, how they behaved. He created a new image of the highlander, one that was widely accepted and, to a point, desired.

Overtime his ideas of the highlands became the ideas of the whole of Scotland. Communities throughout Scotland began to get back in touch with their former traditions, moulded by Scott’s stories.

His stories are still alive today, and many tourists still come to Scotland to experience the adventures described to them by Scott. 

It could be argued that “Scotland The Brand” began with Sir Walter Scott.

Further Reading:
Historic UK

Photo from:
Digital scan of portrait by Sir William Allan by Scottish National Gallery

IYM Week 20: Architecture of Glasgow

Glasgow is a mixed bag when it comes to the architecture around the city. From the medieval Glasgow Cathedral and the neo-gothic Gilmorehill building of the University of Glasgow to the very modern SSE Hydro and Glasgow Science Centre both found on the banks of the Clyde.

Glasgow’s architecture tells the story of the city. Beginning as a small settlement, Glasgow went on to become a royal burgh and it’s population grew. Glasgow was at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment and later the Industrial revolution and is now a modern, vibrant city. Glasgow has architecture from each of these periods, and somehow, it all works in harmony and gives Glasgow a very unique flare.

With most ground floors being taken up by shops and restaurants, the vivid architecture of the city isn’t always visible, thats why there is a saying in Glasgow, “whenever you walk through Glasgow city centre, look up.”

IYM Week 19: Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Into it’s 71st year, the Edinburgh Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world. Comedy, theatre, film and dance, The Fringe has it all.

Some of the biggest names in show business have either made their debuts at The Fringe or continue to take their shows to The Fringe year on year.

During The Fringe, Edinburgh is bursting with creativity and imagination. Add this to the ancient and romantic setting of Edinburgh’s Old Town and it’s impossible not to be inspired.

TMD is very proud to have worked with some of clients who have showcased their work during The Fringe.

Further reading:
Edinburgh Festival Fringe website
Article on Wikipedia

Photo from:

IYM Week 18: We Rate Dogs

WeRateDogs started in November 2015 and within a year had captivated 750,000 people with photos and videos of adorable dogs, sent in by the public.

The submissions - if they are cute enough to make the cut - are then rated out of 15 on the Twitter account.

But aside from making Twitter users worldwide go “awwww!”, WeRateDogs has been converted into a successful online store, selling everything from their own book to garments branded with cute phrases that mirror the tone of the WeRateDogs Twitter feed.

Further reading:
@dog_rates on Twitter
About We Rate Dogs

Photo from:
@dog_rates on Twitter

Week 17: Karyn McClusky of Community Justice Scotland

Karyn McCluskey is a Scottish forensic psychologist who is the chief executive of Community Justice Scotland. Previous to this, she was the director of the Violence Reduction Unit.

We first met Karen in 2015 when she gave a talk at TEDxGlasgow about Glasgow's transformation from the most violent country in Europe to having the lowest murder rate in 40 years.

Positive change is at the heart of everything we do and we find Karyn inspiring because of her dedication to public service and determination to transform the lives of the most excluded and vulnerable in our society.

Watch Karyn's TEDx talk here:

IYM Week 16: Caorunn Gin

Made from the finest pure grain spirit, Scottish water, and elevent botanical gun ingredients, Caorunn is a quadruple-distilled Scottish gin made by Simon Buley at Balmenach Distillery in Grantown-on-Spey.

It's certainly a favourite of ours! As is their gin cocktail recipe webpage...

Further Reading:
Caorunn gin recipes

from Caorunn Gin


Introduced in 2007 as a “hobby”, Apple TV has always been a favourite of ours. Initially a device with that synced with local iTunes content, it has grown and expanded over the years to function without syncing with other Windows PCs or Mac, and now includes third party apps and as of this autumn will start to support Dolby Atmos.

Our favourite addition to the platform over the years? “Siri, open Netflix and turn the lights out in the living room.”

Further Reading:
Apple TV page on Apple's website
TechRadar review

from Apple

IYM Week 14: Susan Kare

Susan Kare is an artist and graphic designer who designed many of the UI elements of the original Macintosh operating system, essentially giving the Mac a personality. She also worked on developing the proportionally spaced fonts that shipped with the Mac - commonplace now, but revolutionary in 1984.

She later went to work for NeXT Computer and Microsoft.

In April this year, Susan was awarded the American Institute of Graphic Arts medal in recognition of her contribution to design.

Further Reading:
Susan's website
Susan's Lifehacker How-I-Work article

by Norman Seeff

IYM Week 13: Scottish Renewables

Scottish Renewables is the voice of renewable energy in Scotland and is committed to realising the full economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy for Scotland.  

In representing its members, Scottish Renewables aims to lead and inform the debate on how the growth of renewable energy can help sustainably heat and power Scotland’s homes and businesses.

Scottish Renewables indirectly led to the founding of TMD - our CEO, Christopher Graham, worked at SR for 7 years!

Watch SR's 20th anniversary video:

IYM Week 12: LGBT Youth Scotland

LGBT Youth Scotland is a national organisation supporting LGBT young people across the country through direct youth work provision, advice services, mentoring and peer support. As well as their direct support work, they oversee a number of national programmes aimed at making Scotland a better and more inclusive place for LGBT young people. 

They devised the LGBT Charter, an award for inclusive employers and institutions, the LGBT Schools Charter, engaging with education establishments to support their LGBT pupils and staff, and they co-ordinate LGBT History Month in Scotland. Their staff, volunteers and service users have also been an integral part of the various campaigns to change equalities legislation making Scotland a much more fairer and civilised place.

On this Pride Month, LGBT Youth will be hard at work preparing for the various events across Scotland where they will provide safe spaces for young people.

Our Creative Director, James Anderson, worked with LGBT Youth Scotland for almost 6 years. Their approach to youth development, direct community engagement and partnership working is engrained in James to this day and has informed our work with our several third sector clients.

Further reading:
LGBT Youth Scotland

from LGBT Youth facebook - some of their service users attending Pride Edinburgh.

IYM Week 11: Scottish Islands & Coastlines

The Scottish Islands and Coastlines are some of the most stunning in the world. From secluded inlets and sandy beaches to rugged cliffs and unspoiled wildlife habitats.

They have featured in romantic storylines, classical poetry, pop songs, oil paintings and modern dance. They tell a story of their own and have been the influence of many more.

Take a trip across the Scottish seas and a whole new world of inspiration will open up to you.

IYM Week 10: The Willow Tea Rooms

First opened in 1903, the Willow Tearooms was the place for Glaswegians to come together socially in a fine architectural setting by famed Glasgow designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 

Fast forward to 2018, the tearoom is being refurbished back to its former glory in time for the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth. 

Not only does the interior and exterior of the building give a flare of what Mackintosh created but it also gives a bold, fresh look to what is becoming an outdated Sauchiehall Street.

It’s an example of how true design lasts, even after 100 years the design is as dramatic today as it was back then. Mackintosh’s legacy lives on.

Further reading:
The Willow Tea Rooms
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society

from The Willow Tea Rooms

IYM Week 9: Glasgow's Miles Better Campaign

Created by Struthers Advertising and featuring Mr Happy from the Mr Men books, Glasgow’s Miles Better was created by John Struthers after the then Lord Provost Michael Kelly expressed a desire to have an initiative similar to the highly successful I Love New York campaign. 

Launched in June 1983, the campaign helped turn around Glasgow’ reputation as a violent and gang-ridden city. 

The marketing collateral of the campaign were reported to have been sighted as far away as the Himalayas and in Khabarovsk, a Russian town 6000 miles east of Moscow.

IYM Week 8: Tim Cook & Apple's Stance on Privacy

With GDPR around the corner, privacy and data ethics have been on our minds a lot recently.

In an age where the gathering, use, retention and manipulation people’s data is big business for everything from influencing voters to selling products, it is refreshing to see that there is one tech giant who don’t see their customer data as a revenue source: Apple.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has made Apple’s stance on this pretty clear:

“The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monitized our customer. If our customer was our product, we could make a ton of money. We’ve elected not to do that.

Our products are our iPhones and iPads and Macs and Homeods and the Watch, et cetera, and if we can convince you to buy one, we’ll make a little bit of money, right? But you are not our product.

You are our customer. You are a jewel, we care about the user experience. And we’re not going to traffic in your personal life. I think it’s an evasion of privacy. I think it’s - privacy to us is a human right!”

We know this to more than PR spin as the company has devoted considerable resources to securing their products against government surveillance and have actively updated products to counteract attempts by law enforcement to circumvent passcodes and other security measures.

Privacy is important to us too. We have spent many months getting ourselves and our clients ready for GDPR and we are very nearly there! The new regulation becomes effective from this Friday so if you’ve not done anything yet to make sure you're compliant, now is the time!

IYM Week 7: Graven

Graven is an independent design studio owned and run by designers. Founded in 1986 it works in over thirty countries and has helped build some of the world’s biggest brands including BBC, British Airways, Harris Tweed, National Australia Bank, RBS, Shell, Standard Life, Glasgow City Council and leisure projects worldwide for clients including Radisson Hotel Group, Crowne Plaza, IHG, Novotel, Realstar, The Townhouse Collection and Missoni.

We love the wide range of projects they undertake and their collaborative approach to design.

Further reading:
Watch Graven Design Logs
See Graven's Projects

courtesy of Graven.

IYM Week 6: NASA Brand Guidelines from 1976

Somewhat outdated by today's standards, this 1976 NASA brand guidelines document is an early example of a complete, comprehensive guide to consistent branding for a large organisation. 

New York studio Danne & Blackburn, the document gained fame back in 2015 when graphic designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth tracked down an original version and started a Kickstarter campaign to publish a high-quality reissue.

Around the same time, NASA released a low resolution PDF version (link on the right). Much like contemporary grand guidelines documents, it covers everything from use of the logotype, colours, typefaces, and even to how use the brand assets on space shuttles!

Further reading:
PDF of 1976 Nasa Brand Guidelines
More photos on Flickr

from Display Graphic Design Collection.

IYM Week 5: People Make Glasgow Campaign

People Make Glasgow, is the new brand image for the City of Glasgow, home of TMD. The slogan was chosen as part of a public consultation which involved submissions from 42 countries around the world.

Walk through George Square, and you can’t miss the massive People Make Glasgow sign that stands high above the city. It reminds us that the people of Glasgow are truly what makes the city great, and as people from the city we can certainly testify to that.

Further reading:
BBC News article from 2013 announcing the campaign
People Make Glasgow website

from People Make Glasgow website.


One of the most frequently referenced books in the TMD library, this font guide is a practical tool when developing visual brands, but also offers interesting history on some of the most commonly used fonts we see every day.

Further reading:
Buy on Amazon

by TMD.

IYM Week 3: Earth Day

Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated on 22 April. The purpose of the event is to unite people from all over the world to support environmental protections.

Earth Day was first proposed by noted peace activist John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco, and he was later awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work. 

This year the focus of Earth Day is to end plastic pollution, which is compromising our oceans, harming sea life and even disrupting human hormones.

Further reading:
Earth Day Network
Wikipedia - John McConnell

Earth Day flag, created by John McConnell.

IYM Week 2: Active East by Scottish Sports Futures

A programme delivered by Scottish Sports Futures, Active East is an exciting programme which aims to create a legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games for young people in Glasgow’s east end by increasing levels of physical activity and building skills through volunteering.

Active East have worked with, and made a difference to, the lives of hundreds of young people, giving them ownership of their local community and services and building the capacity of their Active Champion youth volunteers. To date, the programme has saw young people commit almost 50,000 volunteer hours.

As the 2018 Commonwealth Games get underway on Australia’s Gold Coast, Active East is still at the heart of their community, changing the lives of young people. The hard work and determination of their staff, volunteers and service users have saw the programme prosper and grow, and with a new round of funding for 2018 onwards it will continue to play an active role in Glasgow’s east end.

Further reading:
Flyer Design for Active East
Scottish Sports Futures website

courtesy of Active East

IYM Week 1: April Fools Day Prank - Mark Zuckerberg for H&M

Back in 2016, Matvey Choudnovsky and Kolya Fabrika pulled off a brilliant April Fool's Day prank - an announcement that H&M was set to release a collection in collaboration with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Famed for his uniform of grey t-shirts and blue jeans, Zuckerberg appears on a dedicated website wearing the "collection" in various situations - inspiring colleagues, sharping the future, and during family time.

Even fashion bible Vogue commented: "Mark Zuckerberg for H&M is actually not a bad idea."

Good one guys!