I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter And I’m gonna make believe it came from you…

fullsizerenderMy daughter is still at the stage where she’ll make you a handmade card for any reason – ‘Happy Saturday!’, ‘It’s Wednesday and we’re going swimming – well done!’ and today I fully expect to get a pancake-day card…

I’ve always been keen on a handmade card. I remember designing my first ‘haunknitted’ Christmas one – it was truly ‘old skool’ punk rock. Jamie Reid (who designed the iconic record sleeves for the Sex Pistols) ‘kidnapper’ lettering, a skull in a Santa hat and a turkey making run for it uttering the immortal line ‘I’m off…’

Handmade cards for me were about saying something original to my friends, making a wry political statement…and saving money. Working as I did on a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) graphic design and screen printing project I had access to endless supplies of cheap card, photocopiers, ‘DYMO’ lettering guns and spray mount. Aaah…the design tools of yore…

I had a particular fondness for my DYMO gun (red it was…). DYMO of course produce labelling products but in my opinion they’ll never top the 70’s & 80’s day-glo plastic fantastic DYMO gun which  allowed you to print letter-by-letter a simple adhesive label that you could attach to anything. You had to turn the wheel at the top of the gun and ‘click’ each letter through by pulling the ‘trigger’ of your gun. Magic.

This little bit of cool kit meant that you could produce attractive (in a ropey sort of way) lettering that could be stuck on posters and enlarged in a photocopier. Please remember that this was in the days before scruffy youths on YTS courses were allowed access to computers of any kind. There were no ‘Gothic’ fonts readily available, there was no touch of a button effects…and there certainly was no ‘Photoshop’…well there was but it was called Munro’s and it also did dry cleaning.

Anyway if you were adept in the ways of the DYMO force you could ‘click’ whole track lists for your compilation cassette. Invariably this meant that wee Sharon would always end up swearing out loud as she tried in vain to avoid putting an extra ‘O’ in Kajagoogoo…

Paisley Ironed Man – Rainbow Turtle – Fairtrade Fortnight 2017

Date: Saturday 4th March

Time: 1.00pm to 2.00pm

Venue: The Cross, Paisley


The Paisley Ironed Man event is 4 guys, dressed as Blues Buddies, undressing down to their fair trade underwear, and ironing each layer after they’ve removed it. They will be accompanied by the Renfrewshire Community Gospel Choir, who will sing Aretha Franklin’s version of Respect. They’re hoping for a warm dry day!

For more information about the work of Rainbow Turtle and its fundraising campaign, visit: www.rainbowturtle.org.uk.