Franz Ferdinand and the Bell Rock! Crafting LandxSea's Cinematic Logo

Franz Ferdinand and the Bell Rock! Crafting LandxSea's Cinematic Logo

Angus is beautiful, from the rugged coast to the roaming Glens - we are lucky to call this stunning part of Scotland home.

I don’t like to ever say this out loud in Montrose, but I am a proud Red Lichtie.

Are you still there?

Hopefully you are still reading! I can’t ever say this in my hometown of Arbroath or I will be chased by pitch-forks, but I have more than a soft spot for Montrose and when the early talk of a new film festival at the amazing Playhouse was first mooted I was very eager to be involved.

Aerial view of the town of Montrose in Angus, Scotland, from above the coastal golf links looking over the town towards the Montrose Basin.Since those initial meetings, which were not that long ago, LandxSea was born and we all hope that this will become not only an annual fixture in Montrose but will become a film festival that will be added to the calendar for all film and documentary makers.

As soon as we had decided to launch the festival, the cogs in my brain started to turn and my initial thoughts on our festival logo were that of a lighthouse and a wind-turbine, somehow connecting the past with the future but also connecting the land with our sea.

Working in architecture I am in awe of those who went before us, not only did they design but somehow built these incredible structures with no modern motorboats, huge ships with cranes and winches nor laser cutters to cut the rock exactly.  

I’ve been enjoying annual trips out to Robert Stevenson’s Bell Rock just off the coast of Angus and it is a real marvel.

Robert Stevenson's iconic Bell Rock Lighthouse, an engineering marvel off the coast of Angus.A recent visit to the National Museum in Scotland where I was promoting Scotland to friends visiting from Hawaii reiterated the brilliance of Stevenson and his fellow pioneers as I came across the amazing scale model of the Bell Rock and the incredible story of its construction.

To think of those men rowing out these huge blocks from Arbroath to 13 miles offshore in massive waves, and then to have the bravery, strength and vision to then build it - it really does boggle the mind! 

I’ve also been out to Scurdie Ness Lighthouse several times and, whilst built on land, it is equally impressive and for me has always been the landmark of Montrose.  

An aerial view of Scurdie Ness Lighthouse next to the town of Montrose in Angus, Scotland.
It was with these thoughts I knew my vision of the festival logo had to include a lighthouse. It resonates with everyone, and the shining beacon of light warning ships of the dangers, well it’s not a million miles away from a film projector and there was the idea for the logo!

Inspiration for how the wording of LandxSea was to project from the light actually came from a different type of “rock” as the iconic album cover from Franz Ferdinand's second album You Could Have it So Much Better, which itself is a pastiche of the famous 1924 poster of Lilya Brik by Alexander Rodchenko.

Album cover for Franz Ferdinand's 'You Could Have It So Much Better', an homage to 1920's Russian poster montage.

A lighthouse with a projector on top and text! Simples, right! Well, the simple ingredients but it needed the Chef’s kiss...

That Chef, and the real hero of the day, is David Paton - the architect and creative genius behind the entire concept of the Montrose Playhouse - and his graphic skills managed to take a terrible sketch I had jotted down into this wonderful logo that beautifully represents not only Montrose, but Angus and the incredible Playhouse.

The final Montrose LandxSea Film Fest logo, bringing together land, sea, and cinema!David brilliantly took the shape of the lighthouse, replacing this with 3 slices of film to form the body of the lighthouse with the name of the festival projecting from each one. A true creative talent!

This is how the logo was born….

With the festival running just in a few months time from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th of September, we'd love for you to become an even bigger part of the LandxSea community. Why not sign-up for our newsletter to get behind-the-scenes stories, updates, and special offers? Or perhaps you'd love to contribute your time and skills as a festival volunteer? We truly hope you will join us!


All photos by Graham Black.
Franz Ferdinand album cover from Wikimedia Commons.