Dearest Scotland is an apolitical campaign focused on crowdsourcing future visions for Scotland for a common good. It is as a place where letters to the future of the country are collected, published and shared with the world. The project was successfully funded on Kickstarter in March 2015.
Starting July 2016, I worked with Cat Cochrane, Project Manager of Dearest Scotland on the project. I was tasked to design the book, set up an e-commerce shop to sell Dearest Scotland branded goods, organize a book launch and design the exhibition to be held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
The inspiration for the book cover came from one of the handwritten letters that we had received. The colours reflect the blue and white colours of Scotland's flag. We put out a poll to see which of the three variations of the book covers people liked as well as some feedback that helped refine the final design. I liaised with Ringwood Publishers on the design and edits for the book content.
I also set up an e-commerce shop on Shopify to sell the book as well as other Dearest Scotland merchandise. I photographed the products and book for the site. I also designed Dearest Scotland school kits which featured question cards for teacher to use as a way to bring up discussions on what it means to be Scottish and living in Scotland.
Additionally, I was also promoting the project, book launch event and Parliament exhibition via social media. I designed various promotional images, prepared Kickstarter backer rewards and the event programme for the book launch event.
From October 5th-9th, we held a Dearest Scotland letters and images exhibition at the Scottish Parliament in the Members' Lobby. We even presented a copy of the book to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who confirmed she is a fan of Dearest Scotland. The exhibition outlined the project journey from its inception featuring Dearest Scotland letters and photographs from March 2014 – March 2015.
We decided to host the book launch at The Fruit Market Gallery on 8th October as it was central (next to Edinburgh Waverley train station) to coincide with the Parliament Exhibition. The book launch was sold out with around 60 people in attendance.
Dearest Scotland Launch with Cat
The book is currently sold across Waterstones bookstores across Scotland. As a result of the project, cities and countries around the world have contacted Dearest Scotland to model Dearest _________ where they are.
First day of the exhibition at the Scottish Parliament
Dearest Scotland at the Scottish Parliament
Book launch event
Dearest Scotland school kit