Arusha Gallery opened in Edinburgh’s New Town in 2013 and has been working with designer Callin Mackintosh since 2020. The gallery was one of Mackintosh’s first clients after he set up independently, having previously worked at London studio Spin, publisher Unit Editions (see Pulp 07) and Lowrie (see Pulp 20).
In two years, Mackintosh has produced a wide body of typographically led work for Arusha: invitations, exhibition booklets and catalogues.
‘The original brief was to create an invitation for a group exhibition called Ancient Deities,’ says Mackintosh. ‘The briefs are always pretty fast turnarounds – around a week to get the concepts through and signed-off ready for print,’ in this case using Arcoprint Milk.
The theme of a show informs the concept choices for the accompanying invite, he explains, the only requirements of the design being that it contains the gallery logo and contact details – and can be posted in an envelope. ‘This often results in exploring interesting folding techniques,’ he says.
‘I approach each commission as a different piece of work,’ says Mackintosh. ‘Each artist has their own style, and each show has its own story to tell, so I try to reflect some of this through the invitation.’
For the booklet for Helen Flockhart’s exhibition Beasts Mackintosh chose a textured cover stock because it reflected the strong colour theme in the artist’s work, using Imitlin E/R05 Tela Pistachio and Arcoprint EW.
Typography plays a key role in Mackintosh’s work in general. With his work for Arusha, its direction often emerges from the practicalities of a project. ‘Often the final artworks won’t be finished when working on the invites,’ he says. ‘So as it’s not possible to use imagery, being able to express the show through typography is vital. Recently I’ve enjoyed exploring the playful ligatures found in Romie by Margot Leveque and Kormelink by WiseType.’