Waha Exhibition Services
A promotional brochure for Waha Exhibition Services, a part of Waha Group, operating high profile exhibitions in Tripoli in Libya but also Europe wide, particularly Germany and Spain. The Profile looked to encompass all aspects of services, promoting an international flavour for their international clients.
Part of a humorous series of ads for client Scholl in Hong Kong. Monotone images were paired with relevant catchy headlines, and ran in both English and Chinese language in local press and business publications.
Working in partnership with Rasil LLC (who provided the project management framework), based from Dubai, the style was set for a series of ongoing News Fact Sheets was set up under the Unicef Brand Guidelines. with regular information required, tight deadlines and infographics to succinctly translate some of the statistics and bring them to life. Here are just a small selection of communications delivered over a twelve month period.
SMIP OIlfield Services, Tunisia
SMIP (Société de Maintenance d'Installations Pétrolières) Oilfield Services, based in Tunis, Tunisia, required a corporate brochure to promote their niche services which include Well Testing, In-Line Tests and Slick-Line Services. The brief was to provide an overview of their services in an interesting and unique way. This publication was part of a wider application of creating brand guidelines for the company.
OPITO Accredited Management Systems
All Emergency Offshore Training Centres of any reputable standing require international accreditation with OPITO, the UK based (Offshore Industry Petroleum Training Organisation). OPITO Standards are amongst the hardest international accreditations to achieve with very high standards. Here shown are a select number of approved Lesson Plans which are required as part of the rigorous Management System application.
That’s (Shanghai) Magazine
Working in Shanghai, together with Mark Kitto and Kathleen Lau, we set up what was to become one of the longest established expatriate City Listing magazine, That’s Shanghai. Or, as it later turned into, ‘That's…”, due to Government intervention who felt that the name ‘Shanghai’ would involve some complicated paperwork. Art direction, typography and Listings template were all initiated in those first few exciting months. The magazine is still published on a monthly basis, now under different ownership.
OIlwork - by Sue Jane Taylor
Whilst most recently have been involved directly with the oil and gas industry in the Middle East from Tunisia to Libya, Indonesia and Dubai, I originally brushed with the industry via artist Sue Jane Taylor who had been commission by Talisman Energy to produce a book covering the momentous changes to the Highlands in the ‘Black Gold’ rush of the 70’s and 80’s. Designed from concept through to digital artwork, the book tells the moving story of workers from the early days through to the tragic Piper Alpha accident which led to the first safety movement in the industry, represented by OPITO. The small orange buoy on the cover represents the original position of the Piper Alpha platform which the artist had visited just two days before the accident. Sue Jane Taylor was awarded the commission for the Piper Alpha memorial monument in Aberdeen.
Blue Energy Oilfield Services, Libya
Working for Blue Energy, or BE - in Libya post revolution (2012) proved an immensely rewarding experience. The experience to build the brand from the start was an exciting challenge. The managing director wished a unique and refreshing approach, not the standard ‘oil and gas’ feel. The resulting look and feel was a monotone feel with cyan, reflected here in the corporate Profile, and throughout all the promotional literature and signage.
Figcorp Marine Services
A client based in Dubai but with significant business interest in Libya, required promotional brochures for a ship building and world wide ship-lifting business - a unique method of ship transportation that has bene used to great effect in and around Tripoli, Libya. The resulting series of brochures covered the various aspects of the business, and incorporated new corporate branding that was developed in parallel. Just two of the five are featured here.
Gulfex Aluminium LLC, Dubai, UAE
Gulfex are one of the major aluminium producers in Dubai in the UAE. One of their most high profile commission was that of the Burj Khalifa, where Gulfex provided the majority of specs for the kilometre high construction. As part of a rebranding process, a series of manuals were required to cover all aspects of each production department. These covers reflect a clean, stylish and easy to access identification system which were produced to top specs in a high profile manual holder.
UN Joint Communication Strategy, Jordan
The UN-JCS Jordan wanted to present information in a direct and uncompromising manner to communicate the circumstances established in Jordan and looking forward to future developments and strategies regarding the country. The resulting profile was very well received and something of a new feel for the regional publications. (In partnership with Rasil LLC, Dubai).
Jardine Travel, Hong Kong
The client, Jardine Travel, required a colourful brochure to promote their destinations, in their (then) association with British Airways. A brochure with illustrations was commissioned from Parisian illustrator Helen Lenevue, with various illustrations depicting the glamorous destinations. The cover illustration was used for a Christmas time advert promoting their services at a time when western expatriates traditionally travel to their homeland. Designed and art directed from concept through to artwork.
A Taste of Tain, Scotland, UK
A compilation of recipes with a Scottish twist from some of the top chefs working in the Highlands of Scotland. Work included art direction of text pages, sections, typography throughout and art direction of majority of food images.
Blue Energy Oilfield Services, Tripoli, Libya
Promotional DL leaflet for Blue Energy Oilfield Services (BEOS), in Tripoli, Libya, incorporating the iconic branding as a bold way to differentiate from standard oil and gas services leaflets. Services including surveying, UXO, Drilling, Driver Desert Training etc for various high profile overseas and local companies. Design includes all art direction and typography.
Kilmorack Gallery, Cork Street Exhibition, London, UK
The Kilmorack Gallery in Scotland is a very reputable venue with some astonishing artists and a very well established repertoire of fine artists. This is the culmination of many years work, an exhibition at London’s most prestigious gallery. The brochure consisted of 124 pages and depicted the various artists within against white or black backgrounds depending on the content. Shown here, the stunning paintings by Peter White.
Diversifying from the design world I have recently dived into the world of illustration, working on montages of all sizes, with eclectic content and juxtapositions of weird and wonderful proportions. For more information see www.mjcgray.com
Working with Rasil LLC, we provided the design and art direction for Unicef Somalia, Briefing Note, where the drought crisis is causing significant distress to a large number of the population. Our aim was to translate the statistics therein in an easily understandable format.
Inverness Film Festival, Scotland
Whilst based in Scotland, Grayscotland Ltd won the pitch against stiff competition for the inaugeration event of the Inverness Film Festival. We went on to design all subsequent year, including the film event brochure, all related hanging and pop up banners incorporating the main feature image, and much more besides. Here are a selection from various designs over the years.
Eden Court Arts Centre, Inverness, Scotland
One of my more notable contracts based in Scotland was with Eden Court Arts Centre, where the theatre-cum-art centre was experiencing a state of transition, being reborn and modernised and thoroughly renovated inside and out. I had the privilege to provide the art direction and design of all print, for the Whats on Event Guide, a bi-monthly guide magazine style format (A4) of 32 more or less pages. Here is a selection of covers and text page listings. Art direction,, design and typography from concept through to digital artwork.
Rentokil, Tripoli, Libya
The client wished to accentuate the fact that when one spots a cockroach, it is almost indicative of a whole colony and that what you see was only a tiny percentage of what was invisible. The resulting campaign ran on billboards and in local newspaper and press magazines. The concept for the local press was that the single cockroach image was then followed closely on the following page by the second ad with many cockroaches. THe campaign wa sin both Arabic and English. The concept was unique for Libyan press at that time, the media booking was hard to achieve! But it it ran and with some success for the client whose business increased by one third. Concept, art direction and typography through to digital artwork.
World Food Programme (WFP) - for HIV and TB programs in the Sudan
This 36 page brochure outlined the overall strategy and details for the HIV and TVB programmes being unveiled in the Sudan against the background framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Working in conjunction with Rasil LLC, the client wished for a dynamic and unusual looking Report to counteract the more corporate feel of the raw documents. This is the resulting brochure. Design, art direction and typography through to digital artwork.
Visit Hebrides, Scotland, UK
Visit Hebrides was a local campaign independent of the main Visit Scotland branding which was being initiated at that time. The client, the Western Isles council, felt they were being marginalised and proposed its own unique campaign for a very unique part of the country. The ad campaign - working in conjunction with marketing company 2047, ran in the national (including London) press, with ten targeted main sectors including golf, fishing, cycling, wildlife, outdoor, generic, birdwatching, sailing etc. A total of about 70 different ads ran cyclically in specific magazine and national press, in conjunction with targeted advertorials. Grayscotland Ltd designed the art direction and overall template feel, and each ad was carefully and individually crafted including copywriting, as well as researching and sourcing all images. The Visit Hebrides campaign was highly successful, leading to nearly double than normal the amount of tourists over the year, with bookings significantly up for air flights, hotel bookings, and related tourism activities across the board.
Eden Court Film Brochures
The client wished for an economic format for the Film Guide for its venue. A5 landscape was proposed as a handy format and suitable for the content. Here a detail of one of the many covers, with selection of content pages. Concept, art direction and typography through to digital print.
Tara Hamilton Photography - website
Design and art direction for the above photographer, an established photographer of horses but increasingly of smaller pets, cats and dogs and, more recently of the two legged types, people, and portraiture. The website aimed to showcase her work and the superb images that are her work encapsulated. For more see
Rasil LLC, Dubai, UAE
Working in conjunction with Rasil LLC, the client wanted a dynamic and infographic led promotional brochure. Strong crisp colours partnered with bold fonts and infographics - this is the result - a 16 page landscape A6 brochure. Concepts, art direction, typography and info graphics through to digital artwork.
John Paul photographer - website
Art directed website for established photographer John Paul. Sire currently under construction but selected here are the original art direction for the pages being built.
Highland & Island Enterprise, Scotland
The client wished to promote the Highlands as an area attractive to investors - the softly spoken Highland accent, the well educated populace, the friendliness of the people - all are enduring traits towards what at that time was seen as good aspects for domestic call centres as the rebound against overseas call centres began to cause serious brand damage to some of the big High street names. This ad ran in national business investment magazines to some acclaim - an early use of infographics with the use of bold colour to grab attention.
Unicef jordan - Zaatari Camp
There are a number of charity sectors working at the immense Zaatari Camp on the edge of the Syrian border, in Jordan. Famous for its size, at over 5 square kilometres and a population of an estimated 83,000, Unicef Jordan wished for a number of specific publications to promote welfare and commissioned also a series of maps that set out the relevant sectors. Here, a selection from some of the publication.
Jo Golesworthy Sculpture
The established sculptor Jo Golesworthy is building a reputation as an authoritative genius on pollen. Her sculptures deftly illustrate the beautiful intricacies that make up the beauty of our flora and fauna. Commissions include the Royal Horticultural Society, whilst one of her great admirers is Sir David Attenborough. Here are some initial pages from the art directed pages currently under site build.
Sun Siberian Ginseng, Hong Kong
The client wanted a campaign to stand out from other medicinal brands on offer. What better than a throat throttling monster to contrast the ups and downs of one’s day? The ad ran in English and Chinese in the local press (black and white) and in the Metro (colour version) or MRT, in Hong Kong. Copywriter David Shanks. Art direction and typography Melissa Gray.
Ardtalla - luxury residential sector
A commission to depict the beautiful Ardtalla House, in the grounds of Novar Estate in the Highlands. The client wished for a discreet look whilst exhibiting the luxury residential aspects including the surrounding gardens and all amenities. The front over is the eagle from the coat of arms of the Novar Estate, embossed, with handmade paper and was accompanied by matching envelopes. A5 in size, 16 pages; concept, art direction and typography through to digital print.
The Beauforte Hotel, Singapore
A series of ads aimed at the business sector. The ads ran in a number of business magazines in the region, and promoted the then growing sector of the business elite. Copywriting by David Shanks. Art direction and typography by Melissa Gray.
Pulteneytown Information Board, Highlands
The client wished for visiting tourists - and locals alike - to learn more about the unique heritage and history of this part of Wick, Lower Pulteneytown, that was almost entirely built by the great Victorian engineer Telford. The housing was revolutionary, being one of the first ever estates designed with flushing toilets inside, as well as an enduring harbour wall that still stands in tact. A local photographic library, created by an enterprising local from the 1890’s to the 1950’s, captured the heyday as a bustling and very prosperous fishing village for the ‘Silver Darlings’ trail, the herring season that drew workers to follow the shoals. Here are some images from that amazing historical library, some of which was captured on the final information board.
Glassdrumman Cider, County Down, North of Ireland
The client wished to provide a more professional look for his infinitely superior home brew, an apple cider made from his grandfather’s orchard which he had then taken over and set to cultivate what is a unique strain of ancient Irish apple trees. The cider - whilst the owner fought off such suggestions as ‘Willie’s Water’ after his own name, demurred and named it Glassdrumman Cider, to tie in with the holiday cottage they renovated and rent out, Glassdrumman Cottage. The brew’s infinitely superior smooth and refreshing taste has won local fans and international awards. The resulting labels were created to provide a slightly retro but tongue in cheek 30’s look as homage to his grandfather’s times. Two tastes, the Dry and the Sweet, equally delicious. Try some!
Working in China for some many years, most work of the day then was TV commercials. The standard of print was not so god as it is today as China opening up. Working for Saatchi & Saatchi first in Gunagzhou and then Shanghai, clients included Proctor and Gamble, Lion Nathan Breweries (now ‘Lion’) and Johnson & Johnson amongst others. Here is a small selection of tv commercials from The China Years.
Website design for various golf clubs, Scotland
This past two or three years seems to have seen a proliferation in golf club websites wanting a makeover. Mostly because a lot of the original sites were very tired looking, but partly because new technology has meant that the application of drone footage has opened up a whole new niche of golfers now able to check out a site via its drone footage. Working in conjunction with project managers The Cheryl Hopkins Consultancy, shown here are a selection of sites completed over the past 1-2 years.
Modern Apprenticeships Commercial
the client, Western Isles Enterprise, wished for a more modern, upbeat promotional film for the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, to entice it’s Hebridean youth to learn more about the opportunities afforded by the MA scheme. “Be what you want it to be - Make it Work for You’ was the ultimate message. From Car Rallying to Riding Instructor to Boat Driver, the storyboard set out to educate the young population’s horizons as to what could be made available instead of escaping to the mainland where opportunities are perceived as more bountiful.
Peder & the Skin Catcher - Book design, UK
Cover for the established author Clio Gray, a novel for the teenage market about the weird and wonderful world of Peder and the Skincatcher
Four Winds Removal Company, Singapore
‘Never have a pun in the title’ - the copywriter’s golden rule. But not with David Shanks! Here a series of adverts for expatriates wishing for a better removals service. In the days before social media it was difficult to find reliable international movers to and from Singapore and 4 Winds wanted to promote it’s excellent reputation. Campaign ran in business magazines and local press, English only. Copywriter David Shanks, Melissa Gray Art Director.
Infographics…for Unicef and other clients
Infographics are becoming increasingly attractive to clients where paperwork is increasingly adding to the proliferation of information bombarding us from every angle. With email a thing of the past, it is being replaced by more vigorous visual campaigns via instagram and other more visual, less wordy mediums. is this a sign of dumbing down? Or a sign of language to come? Discuss…here a selection from various projects from the humanitarian sector.
Catastrophes, Crashes & Crimes - book design, UAE
A chance meeting with a certain Dr Athol Yates, a shadowy figure at Khlaifa University in Abu Dhabi, and the chance to design the above title. The book is the second in the series, following on from the first from the 1970’s, based on extraordinary press cuttings outlining various bizarre happenings in the small Gulf nation. It makes for interesting reading, especially if you know about current affairs. Concept and art direction.
Unicef - Africa Fact Sheet
A series of infographics for the client with various statistic presented in digestible and impactful form. Intended for use on Instagram and related social media.
Columbini, Tripoli, Libya
The client was opening up a new showroom in Gergaresh Road, Hay Andalus, and wished for a small but classy invitation card to send to a select group of hwat you would know term ‘influencers’. This was pre 2011.
HOST…Highlands Travel magazine, Scotland
Conceptual cover and inside spread for HOST,