The Beauties of the Common Tool

The Beauties of the Common Tool

To celebrate illustrator and long-time collaborator Mick Marston joining dust collective we developed a series of limited edition screen printed posters.

Tools Big
Tools 7
Tools 8

“stop drawing unicorns and embrace the mundane

Tools 5

Drawing on his long term role as an educator and lecturer he presented the studio with a historical Leeds Beckett University design brief. The brief had been devised by Mick to make students re-think current trends and was taken up in the studio with relish. Mick provocatively asked students to “stop drawing unicorns and embrace the mundane”. Accompanied with a box of everyday objects, primarily tools, Mick’s anti unicorn statement invited them to look to the everyday as inspiration, developing something that reconsidered the overtly familiar.

Taking on Mick’s brief our research process began with an investigation into early modernism and its characteristic experiments in form. The simple lines and palette of painters Paul Nash and Edward Bawden and the graphic posters of Edward McKnight Kauffer reconfigured familiar tropes in the fine and graphic arts. Rethinking previous relationships with colour, shape and naturalism the modernists provided a foundation for the studio to re-consider the familiar tool box and buck contemporary design trends.

Tools 9
Tools Sketch

We developed a series of drawn interpretations of the given tools working in a variety of media. The drawings were subsequently scanned and layered in photoshop to create an eclectic mélange of shape, form and colour, reforming the mundane in a series of prints that could give any unicorn a run for its money.

Tools Tapemeasure
Tools Moustache
Tools 10
Tools Crop


A series of screen printed posters on 160gsm Munken off white paper in three colours: Black, Process Yellow and Silver; Three letters on 120gsm Citrine Colorplan paper; Cardboard postal tubes.


Nowt Here

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