Touch is an independent design studio based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our main focus is in the areas of design, direction and ideas — making sense of things for brands, people and places.
When I was younger, I perhaps naively thought I would be an artist in some for or another, as drawing and sketching was something that preoccupied a lot of my time. Like many other designers, I was also exposed to some of my earliest design influences through music, especially artwork from my dad's record collection (which I now regret refusing to inherit!) — a lot of this stuff was from the mid-70s to mid-80s, so inevitably the artwork, imagery and typography filled me with mixed feelings of intrigue, trepidation and/or fear. My first real exposure to a design studio was purely by chance, as I took a work placement with a family friend, an amazingly skilled illustrator who happened to run their own design practise. Initially I thought this would involve more drawing but as I started to work with the core studio team, I was immediately drawn to the variety of skilled disciplines required of a designer. Perhaps, more importantly, I was drawn to the notion that I could be creating work for other people, rather than just for myself.
Our campaign work over the past few years for the Edinburgh International Festival has certainly been a high point for us, both creatively and in terms of exposure. As the world's largest arts festival, it has a real presence in the city over the summer months — it's great to see our work generate a something of a buzz that resonates with the hugely positive atmosphere in Edinburgh at this time of year.
It's also been great to see the reputation and work of the studio grow over the past few years, which has certainly been, in part, through social media but also through greater opportunities to meet with other designers.
Edinburgh is a fairly small city in the scale of things. Up until a few years ago, it perhaps had a reputation for having a large, full-service agency landscape. While there are still several of these agencies around, producing great work, it's been nice to see the emergence of smaller, nimbler, more focussed studios cropping up, who are still capable of producing work on par with some of the bigger agencies.
Idea, for us, is key but as with some of these studios, I like to think we take inspiration from further afield — looking toward the more European design sensibility and influences — which certainly informs our approach and the reductive visual language in a lot of our client work.