Island Bay, Wellington is my adopted home. In 2003 my wife and I came looking for greener grass following a soul wrenching three years in London and we never left. We are now living in Island Bay which is delightful.

The idea of the suburbs followed on from a college project which was about people and places and how we identify with our environment, part of this project was to map out a memorable journey typographically.

The style of the suburbs follows my interest in vintage British railway posters of the golden era of travel. These posters promoted the smallest and mostly unknown locations, they usually depicted a smiling family fresh off the train and looking for adventure. These posters here are from my hometown near Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Recard (a link to some vintage railway posters to locations where I grew up).

I have interest in the history of Wellington (which i tweet daily @TheSuburb) and a visit to the National Library recently to look through some of the cities maps drawn up in 1840 by the New Zealand Co. At this point I was keen to start a print project because I’d given a decade of my time to designing online experiences, I missed the tactile feel of paper and the smell of the ink fresh off the press.

With the suburbs I wanted to explore how the print could represent the environment of the suburb, so I decided to use water colours and paint the suburb first. This hand painted edge would then represent the green ‘bush’ border. I then scanned the painting and applied a shape geometric edge which would present the urban borders of the suburb.

I’m hoping soon to have the ability to print more of the suburbs and in different colours, this I’m currently exploring along with the idea of painting and printing other cities.