short guides

historic scotland

A selection of the Short Guides suite showing the varied colour palette but consistent illustration style of the front cover

Line drawing illustration style used across the suite of publications

Historic Scotland is the executive agency of the Scottish Government that safeguards the nation’s historic environment. Their work on some of Scotland’s most iconic buildings and landscapes makes the organisation a leading expert in the conservation sector. We were commissioned by Historic Scotland’s conservation, education and outreach team to design a series of publications to communicate this expertise and make it accessible to the public.

The result of this project is the Historic Scotland short guide series. This suite of publications covers a large number of topics involving the care, conservation and restoration of historic buildings. The creative challenge for us was to design a cover style that would deliver a consistent treatment across the series whilst allowing the flexibility to incorporate any topic.

Close up photograph of the guides and Historic Scotland logo, with content in the background

Working with the existing Historic Scotland brand, we introduced a line illustration of a building feature that related to the publication subject. This illustration style brought a consistency across the suite. Each illustration was placed on a coloured background from Historic Scotland’s approved palette ensuring that the publications remained on brand yet allowed flexibility for each one to be unique and distinctive.

The design and layout of the internal pages of the publications were an exercise in presenting information clearly. Clean typography combined with plenty of white space and a clear titling structure ensured that information is easily accessible and the guides were a pleasure to read.

Introductory spread with balanced photography and text, with headings colour coded to the cover

Introductory spread designed to display photography, text and illustration

Clean, balanced spread design with coloured headings to match cover colour

Illustration drawing deign used for front covers