Designs of Desire

National Galleries of Scotland
and The Burrell Collection

2000   |  300 × 175mm   |  328pp


Designers, like artists, rely on patrons. At the National Galleries of Scotland I had worked for the director Timothy Clifford, as press officer. Some people thought this was a difficult job, as he was never far from controversy; others thought it an easy one, as he rang up all the journalists himself. When I left to become a freelance designer, he was a great supporter, and I ended up enjoying a virtual monopoly of all the print that came out of the Galleries for many years. Designs of Desire was a project very close to Tim's heart. He had bought most of the drawings and prints associated with architecture, sculpture and the applied arts – rather than paintings and frescoes – for the collection. He was very open to the historicising type and ornament and the unusually attenuated format of the publication (even though it didn't interest him that it was economical to print). Although he could drive you mad with changes and late additions, all was forgiven with his enthusiasm for the end product.