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The design + making of our British Council Scotland Notebooks

October 08, 2018

Earlier this year I applied to an open call on the Craft Scotland website to design a corporate gift for overseas guests of the British Council Scotland when visiting here for cultural relations.

My proposed gift wasn't chosen as the winning gift (Studio Niro were the successful designers who have designed a very beautiful gift called 'Handsel') however I was delighted when the team behind the open call at the British Council Scotland reached out about a possible different commission.

Our finished A6 Notebooks, exclusively designed for the British Council Scotland

I had suggested the creation of an exclusive print design inspired by one of the British Council's core values "making connections". I'd recently been reading a book by David Haskell called "The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors" as I'm deeply fascinated by the way nature behaves - anything from how a zebra has developed it's distinctive pattern as a form of camouflage against predators (see our Conceal and Disruption prints for examples of how I've translated this idea into my own visual response) to the way tress 'talk' to each other to warn of dangers or other scenarios.

Our 'Conceal' print seen here as a Tote Bag

This commission was for a set of A6 notebooks, so I set about translating my thoughts into sketches that evolved into the final print through the usual period of drawing, trying and re-working an idea until I was happy to share something back with the team at the British Council.



Sketches of the design evolving

Eventually, the design came together and hopefully a print that reflects the idea that under our feet as we walk through a forest there is an incredible amount of vital information being passed back and forth between the trees - 'Nature's Great Connectors'.


The final three notebooks, made from 100% recycled paper stock, produced in Scotland.

If you are interested in commissioning us for a project, please get in touch at: hello@lauraspring.co.uk

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