The Pollokshields Trust were turning a disused bowling green in Glasgow into a community space, they hoped for it to be called ‘The Common’. To get the project off the ground they needed a group and transparent entity to start and run it.
Following on from a series of public workshops named “Make Your Mark” the name “Mark Makers” was chosen by the trust.
The ultimate goal was to improve local peoples lives and encourage a sense of community. The new space was to be a place for all walks to get to know each other, relax, have fun and run projects. These projects could be whatever the community desired: a neighbourhood dining room or craft workshops for instance.
However the site was hidden, in disrepair, and needed a lot of work to feel habitable and welcoming. Some locals were suspicious of the project and someone taking over the space.
In the first instance, Mark Makers needed to advertise to passerby that something was happening in the space. They also need a presence for Mark Makers online and elsewhere.
In the long term, the challenge was to communicate and encourage democratic community ownership through and of the visual identity. It also had to appeal to a local yet wide and varied audience.
We started with a research phase, visiting the site with the Trust, and joining a local community group for a couple of hours to interview them about what they’d like to see happening with the space and the values they felt were important to them. Starting the project with this open and collaborative approach helped us to expand our understanding and connect with the community we were designing for.
We developed a fun, engaging and playful visual identity which met the challenge of having an instant impact but could easily be used and owned by the community.
The identity assisted in building awareness as well as inspiring and motivating volunteers. It assisted the initiative to inspire action, build community pride and helped Mark Makers reach their goal of developing ‘The Common’ (now named ‘The Bowling Green’) into a welcoming and thriving space.
Created with Malcolm Murdoch as A Day Out