On The Map with Run For The Hills
Posted on April 29 2016
Run For The Hills is the perfect example of what happens when creative minds (and pencils) meet. Run For The Hills was born out of a collaboration between graphic artist Dex and interior designer Anna Burles with their first collection Literary London celebrating everything that’s great about London’s literary heritage, bringing famous fictional characters to life within the winding landscapes of The Capital.
We know Run For The Hills best for their typographical screenprints, created with painstaking detail by Dex. The Literary London Map is quickly becoming their iconic work, so we were keen to find out more about the inspiration behind it and their other influences.
We caught up with Dex to find out more.
5 things you didn't know about Run For The Hills:
1. Dex lives in an artisan cottage in the shadow of Goldfinger's Trellick Tower, W10, with his partner, business partner and interior designer Anna Burles and their baby daughter, Margot Celeste. Run For The Hills' studio is a cycle ride (or pram push) along the Grand Union canal in Great Western Studios.
2. As well as producing graphic art, Run For The Hills is a busy creative studio, specialising in branding and interior design. Their latest project was designing advertising agency BMB's new London home. Full of quirky props, glazing decals, bespoke wallpapers and flypostered columns.
3. Dex has designed artworks, fabrics and neon signs for pop singer Ellie Goulding.
4. Having a new baby, Dex and Anna decided there were not enough cool, edgy babygrows, so they are designing their own. Watch this space...
5. As well as being an artist and graphic designer, Dex works in animation under the pseudonym of Christopher Trotman. His last major project was the title sequence for a feature film about the Iconic British comic 2000Ad called 'Future Shock.’
And a bonus number 6! This year Run For The Hills is expanding into a range of merchandise. Not only the aforementioned babygrows, but tea towels and bone china mugs.
"Our first submission to the Royal Academy, a new screenprint version of God Save The Queen, has been shortlisted for the RA Summer Show. Fingers crossed! This playfully irreverent and unreservedly British design is for music lovers, sometime anarchists, and philatelists everywhere."
"This piece was a labour of love for me and Anna. A month of late nights and early risings, researching 100's of novels to find characters with kooky names. I can only produce one map a year, due to the enormous amount of time they take to create. Hand-crafting them digitally using a Wacom tablet is very time-consuming, but it's the research that's the killer. Finding cool names of literary characters or films set in Central London is fairly straightforward, but it becomes more difficult the further you go out. Not many novels or films are set in West Ham or deepest darkest Deptford. Plus, you need to find characters with fun or quirky names. John Smith isn’t going to cut it. You need a Long Arm Tom or a Crepe Suzette. Weekends would go by and only 2 names would make the cut!"
3. 99 Bottles
"Take one down, pass it around! This is an intricately crafted ode to wonderful, delicious beer. 99 different brands were painstakingly created in a loving homage to the most bonkers of the craft beers, Pilsners, Weissbiers and Indian Pale Ales. The microbrewed, the mass produced, the frozen and the lukewarm. The European, the American and the Japanese. We love them all in equal measure!"
Dex is currently working on a map featuring Literary Pubs of London, as well as a Musical London Map. Asked whether one day he might do a map of another city, Dex admitted it was ‘unlikely.’ But he might change his mind. Next year.
Check out Run For The Hills full collection here >