SCOUSE: A CLASS ACCENT
EDITORIAL CATEGORY WINNER
After completing a degree in History at Kings College, Edd studied MA Communication Design at Central St Martins. He works with hidden details and avoids clichés to represent people and places. Much of his work includes comics, playing with colours, pattern and texture.
Edd divides his time between London and Paris; you can view more of his work at eddbaldry.co.uk
Scouse: a class accent was commissioned by Red Pepper magazine and used to illustrate an interview with cultural historian Tony Crowley, which explores how Liverpool’s history as a centre for cultural and industrial change has had a gradual impact on the local accent.
The judges loved the way Edd’s work communicated a sense of warmth and friendliness. Instead of providing an instantaneous message, the image depicts a visual story that lifts and compliments the reader’s appreciation of the article. The reader does not have to understand what they are looking at straight way as the detail creates a sense of curiosity that invites the viewer to explore its multi-layered complexity.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Edd featured in the awards issue of Varoom magazine.
BRIEF: To illustrate an interview with a cultural historian explaining the cultural history of how Liverpool's accent – through slavery, immigration, industry, industrial action and cultural happenings - has developed in to modern-day ‘scouse’.
MATERIALS: Paper, pencil, scanner, Photoshop and a bunch of custom textures and brushes that I have on the computer.
RESEARCH: I spent quite a bit of time looking at the physical geography of Liverpool to see if I could map the development as incoming migration – alas that wasn't to be. More basic stuff was looking at photos of the Mersey, the Liver-building, dock workers and reading the article many times.
PROCESS: All reasonably straightforward. I gave six thumbnails to Tom Lynton, the Art Director at Red Pepper, to look through, with one coming back as the clear choice. That was then worked up to a proper pencil sketch and then the final piece tumbled out the following day.
RESISTANCES: Never having visited Liverpool was a challenge. I also found it very difficult to think of ‘Liverpool’ without thinking of Liverpool FC, but that really wasn't talked about at all in the piece I was illustrating, so needed to work around my lack of imagination. I also needed it to be clear that the image was, at least in part, about speech and communication but didn't want to resort to speech bubbles being randomly shoved in front of every character.
INSIGHT: That Scouse, and by extension Liverpool can, thankfully, be communicated without resorting to LUFC or the Beatles.
DISTRACTIONS: I got the brief on New Year’s eve and it needed to be in soon after the New Year so the thumbnails were done when I'd have preferred to have been in bed!
NUMBERS: Number of characters I managed to cram into the image.
AFTERWORDS: I wish I'd had the whole page to use in the magazine. The illustration had to accommodate a column of text, which means it needed to taper to the right, which make it look slightly odd when reproduced as a stand-alone image.