Graphic Designs and Good Times: Exploring the Last Works of Harrison Edwards

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You may have noticed that some of Manchester’s best dining venues go above and beyond in their aesthetics. Whether you’re grabbing a slice of pizza at Crazy Pedro’s or snapping a shot at Southside Tequila, the venue’s visuals never fail to match the vibe. But have you ever thought about who is responsible for the designs behind those good times?

Meet Harrison Edwards, a Manchester-based illustrator who works behind the scenes at your favorite places. His projects bridge a gap between business and art, setting a great example for budding graphic designers. Edwards’ designs can be seen all over Manchester and typically incorporate bold lettering, bright colors and iconic imagery.

His “Happy Go Lucky” studio runs the official art department of The Liars Group (think Cane & Grain and Crazy Pedro’s) and has designed for favorite first dates at Junkyard Golf Club and the Southside Tequila bar. An impressive line-up, to say the least. His Crazy Pedro pizza box was even selected for the World Illustration Awards!

Outside the studio, Edwards hosted an exciting pop-up show from September 17-18. We headed over to Ancoats to check it out and had a blast. Titled “Hello Old Friend,” the pop-up featured contemporary graphic works in a cozy party setting. Similar in style to his previous work, but with more experimentation using paint, Edwards’ art did not disappoint.

It was clear that local venues were keen to support Edwards’ work, as the event collaborated with cocktail bar The Jayne Eyre and Neon Tiger. Additional local support from Left, Right & Center and Community music groups ensured great tunes from 12pm to 11pm. The space gave visitors the opportunity to see the work, drink, dance, chat and have fun!

We caught up with Edwards after the event to ask him a few questions. We started by asking him where he finds inspiration, and what advice he has for students interested in illustration:

Photo: @thefreshprints_

“I’ve lived in Manchester for 10 years now, and I feel very lucky to call it my home. It’s been very good for me. It’s changed a lot in 10 years, it just keeps getting better. With that come new buildings, new stores and new people, all of which enhance the tapestry of the city. Just look around the northern quarter to see a bunch of people doing things their own way. It’s inspiring good enough for me – do it the way you want it and hope that other people will connect to it on some level My main advice is that you have to do it for yourself first I’m very lucky to be able to do this full time, but I do it because I love it. I’m obsessed with it. If I’m not doing it for a client, I’m doing it for myself.

We then asked about the artistic process behind “Hello Old Friend”:

“Before this exhibition, I had never really been a painter. I’m primarily an illustrator and digital designer, so it was a lot of trial and error and fun, figuring it out as you go. In this regard, it was arbitrary to start. But somewhere along the way, some things start to click. I felt more confident and started to experiment more and more, trying to find a balance between my professional and personal work. I can’t wait to expand my process further and see what else I can do.

Like what you see? Click here to discover the prints available in his studio.

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