The Restless Spirit


O Street Custome Bottle Design for Outwalker Irish Whiskey

Photography by Ladislav Piljar

Happy launch day to Outwalker—the latest whisk(e)y brand we’ve been working with… and this time, it’s Irish!

Outwalker Whiskey is a collaboration between global mixologist titans Sean Muldoon and Jillian Vose (owners of Charleston’s Hazel and Apple), ex-Irish rugby player Darren Cave and the Merchant Hotel’s former general manager Adrian McLaughlin.

We loved working with the Outwalker team and our Belfast-based collaborators SheSaid and Conor Kelly on this one. Conveying the bold brand concept, The Restless Spirit, with a custom bottle and label design—we helped them create a new Irish whiskey for a young, modern Ireland.

Stay tuned for our case study where we will share more on the collaborative work and the branding process. In the meantime, we’ll be at the launch party in Belfast tonight. Check out our socials tomorrow for some photos. Sláinte!

Refuweegee EP – BESSA


Bessa Refuweegee 7" record sleeve details Street, Glasgow

We recently worked with our pal, Scottish musician BESSA (Sam), designing a cover for the Refuweegee 7″ EP—a collaborative project between I Belong To Glasgow, O Street and BESSA, to raise funds for the brilliant Glasgow charity, Refuweegee.

We worked with Sam a few years back when he created a unique soundtrack for our showreel. It’s been brilliant to collaborate again, so we invited Sam to tell us a bit more about the project and the finished design.

Here’s what he had to say:

Bessa Refuweegee Front and back cover by O Street, Glasgow

The original idea was sparked by Dale from I Belong to Glasgow, who gave me a shout for any tracks that I would be willing to release. The main focus was to raise funds and awareness for Glasgow-based charity Refuweegee; I saw an opportunity to tie the project in with a design that highlighted my mixed background.

I asked my friends at O Street if they could help me with the sleeve design for the vinyl and I couldn’t be any prouder of the result!

Bessa Refuweegee Front cover by O Street, GlasgowBessa Refuweegee 7" record sleeve back cover by O Street, GlasgowWe explored my Scottish and Algerian background which led O Street to come up with some unique and just brilliant ideas; in one of the designs they married images of Mount Tahat (Algeria) and Ben Nevis (Scotland).

Amazingly, looking at some of the images and designs we explored helped me build confidence in my own identity and heritage. I’ve found in the past it has been difficult to find belonging, coming from two cultures.

Bessa Refuweegee 7" record sleeve details Street, GlasgowBessa Refuweegee 7" record sleeve details Street, GlasgowWe settled on the image of my wee Algerian village with famous and personal Glasgow landmarks mixed into the space. For me, this image really worked by conveying what Refuweegee strives towards in making refugees welcome and safe in Our Glasgow.


This illustration is an O Street collaboration with talented local designer Jack Batchelor.

You can purchase the BESSA Refuweegee 7″ EP here.

If you would like to donate directly to Refuweegee you can do so here.

Culture is dead, long live culture


It was with great sadness that we read in September the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Edinburgh Filmhouse had gone into administration.

The Film Festival was one of O Street’s first big clients (back when Neil and I had more hair on our heads than on our chins). Using tactics we have embraced ever since, we combined strategy and creative exploration in the concept we pitched: a logo and campaign that focused on the magic of real cinema (‘Enlightened Cinema’ we called it!) putting FILM at the heart of their visual personality.

O Street David and Neil Light Write

It was also the project that cemented our long running friendship/working relationship with the magnificent photographer Peter Didbin. On a longshot for the pitch, we asked him to help us capture a new logo drawn in light using long exposure photography. I’m pretty sure showing them a movie of that exploration swung the decision at our interview.

O Street Peter Didbin EIFF Logo

What it really got me thinking about however was the way culture is changing in these post Covid lockdown, but still financially precarious times.

Cinema in itself is a whole artform in flux. On the one hand, blockbuster movies seem to be thriving over at Marvel and even indie movies like the magnificent ‘Everything, Everywhere all at once’ (if you haven’t seen it yet, what the hell are you doing?) seem to be becoming box office successes. But… there is no doubt a lot of people are watching a lot more movies at home. Venues that have rethought the experience seem to be weathering the storm with initiatives like the ones DIVE are working on at Everyman Cinemas, bringing brand partnerships to elevate the whole experience of going to the movies. Swapping stale popcorn and flat coke for dark chocolate and cocktails seems like something we should have had years ago! And if it doubles up as a way to advertise brands and improve marketing effectiveness, then maybe we can all be winners? Another long-term client of ours the Glasgow Film Festival is back with a fully live festival next year, we’re all excited about that since last year was a blast!

The post-pandemic dust feels like it’s not quite settled on the Live music scene yet. There are success stories, but with big acts canceling tours due to soaring energy costs at venues, it feels like it’s not exactly a safe bet. O Street pals Driift have recently announced a big investment from Deezer to expand their online concert offering. No one feels watching a gig online is the same as going to a venue, but you know what, I’d rather spend £5 and watch it at home with a nice bottle of beer than spend £100 and watch it on screens from the back of a stadium. The band The Smile’s show earlier in the year, with an intimate at venue audience alongside a live streamed online audience seemed like a brilliant compromise. And hey… who knows how this whole deal will change with the Metaverse or its equivalent leaps in supporting sound technology.

Dance Umbrella has just wrapped up its live and online modern dance festival. I caught the opening night with my family and it was amazing. The experience of going out in the big city on a dark night and being inspired and challenged and excited was a real blessing. It was a joy being able to share it with my children, who as a generation, have really lost out most during lockdown. The venue was a sell out, second night in a row. We had designed a printed programme for the whole festival. ‘How quaint’, you say, but they ran out of copies after the show! The audience were hungry for more information about the performances, or a way to remember this one.

I’d like to talk more about art galleries and digital art, but you know I think I’ve tested your patience enough (if you have read this far, thank you). So what’s my point?

Some culture is dying as a result of the turmoil over the last few years, there is no doubt. But, like the debate about our beloved Glasgow School of Art Mack Building, should we try and rebuild things the way they were? That building burning down two times in four years almost feels like an omen for a wider culture debate. We need Arts & Culture, that is not in question, it’s a vital part of life. But why not use these times to challenge the way we used to do things and explore new ways of sharing and exploring the arts? While still needing beautiful printed brochures of course!

O Street EIFF Cinema Cat

Best of the Brewers Journal


Back when travelling was still a thing, we journeyed from Glasgow to Leeds on a beer-filled adventure. Joining our pals Tim & Jon at Brewer’s Journal, we gave a talk at their Brewers Lectures series. We jump at the chance to speak at these events. There’s always a great crowd and we get to be starstruck by our favourite brewers. (Yes there is a free bar, but it’s not just about that, thank you).

It’s also a great opportunity for us amateur beer lovers to learn a few things from the experts. Here’s a round up of some nuggets from the day.


1. The future is NALAB

brewers journal - lallemand

Robert Percival from Lallemand loves talking about sugar structures. He kicked off the day by introducing my clueless self to a new phrase: NALAB. For all you fellow beer newbies out there, that is No Alcohol or Low Alcohol Beer. As the current culture shifts towards more healthy lifestyle choices (mindful drinking, balanced with sport and fitness) more and more breweries are opting to produce beer that is Better For You.

Erdinger (my placebo beer of choice during Dry January) have been running this angle for a while—focusing on the isotonic properties of their beer and even sponsoring sporting events. Having said that, I didn’t see a single hand go up when Robert asked how many folk were currently cooking up a NALAB product. So, either it’s not catching on quite yet…Ooooor everyone is pretending it’s not catching on yet.


2. Bigger isn’t always better

brewers journal - northern monk

With such a saturation of craft breweries out in the world at the moment, it’s easy for smaller breweries to feel the need to up the ante. Grow grow grow and sell sell sell. However, Luca Lorenzi, director of growth at Northern Monk, turned this idea on its head by asking the audience to first ‘define what growth means to you’. Then get a good team around you to help make that happen. For Northern Monk, that led to pretty much doubling their sales for the past three years, whilst keeping community and family at the forefront of their journey.


3. Craft = Community

brewers journal - brooklyn brewery

At the Brewer’s Congress event we attended, we got schooled by Gabe Barry from Brooklyn Brewery in the history of all things beer and community. This time around, she emphasised how breweries can serve their communities, acting as a platform for bringing folk together. Craft is more than just brewing beer, it’s creating a space to build a community. Now it’s time to bring people in and diversify who gets to be a part of that. With breweries leading the way and changing the world for the better. In conclusion, this made me want to start a brewery immediately.


4. If in doubt, DIY.

brewers journal - pressure drop

After we took to the stage to reveal our top tips for designing a beer brand, Sienna O’ Rourke from Pressure Drop followed up. Sienna shared her own play on the top tips she used to create a striking identity for Pressure Drop in-house. Pressure Drop had a turbulent start as an emerging North London brewery and Sienna came on board to pull their visual identity and marketing together with a DIY approach. She established a bright and bold style, creating photos, artwork, collages in-house with the wider team to build a robust look that fits the bill for the ethos of the brewery. Showing that to find your vibe, sometimes you need to look inwards first.


5. Beer Goes Beyond Beer

brewers journal – cloudwater

The final speaker for the day was Paul Jones from Cloudwater. Everything he said transformed the audience from beer-drinking brewers to enlightened pioneers. We didn’t even get the chance to take notes on what that involved. Sorry, you just had to be there.

Ultimately, we go to these events aware that our knowledge of beer and brewing only extends to a small area of the industry, and we learn more every time. It’s a great atmosphere, with most craft breweries more than willing to share their story, learnings and give a leg up to the next craft brewer along the road. Or even the knowledge hungry design studio round the corner.

This system of support and community feels more important than ever in this bonkers climate we find ourselves in. Many of these breweries are independently owned, with small teams, who will seriously feel the impact of closed up pubs and tap rooms over the next few weeks. If you feel like getting stocked up whilst you sit in your pyjamas on zoom calls, here’s a helpful list of how you can do exactly that.

Northern Monk have discounts across their cans and cases of Faith on their online shop. Plus for every 12 pack sold Northern Monk are donating £3 to the NHS to support their work on the frontline. Keep the Faith indeed!

Pressure Drop are championing their community and reaching out to support business that will be affected by COVID too. They’ve created a pay it forward scheme—for every order of 15 cans or more they will pay forward £25 in credit to the independent pub, restaurant or retail outlet of your choice. Awesome.

Cloudwater have teamed up with local business Higher Ground to offer veg box delivery and tasty vegan meals through their site.

Brooklyn Brewery are doing an awesome job of sharing resources to support NYC communities and you can still grab your fix from BeerHawk if you aren’t stateside.

Yeastie Boys are offering shipping in the UK for all their beers. Plus they are donating £2 from every single case they sell to #COVID19 Emergency Appeal—a fund to provide grants to hospitality workers suddenly facing hardship. Absolute champs.

North Brewing have an awesome 20% discount for NHS workers and free local deliveries!

You may also have seen a taster of our upcoming rebrand for Stewart Brewing… Their current beer labels are about to become vintage collectables, quick—order up!

Fyne Ales are also keeping Scotland well supplied, with regular offers and discounts on their beautiful designed (ahem) online shop. You can currently get 12 x 330ml bottles of Perfect Silence for £25.

And if you can’t choose, there’s always beer box deliveries that do the choosing for you. Like Honest Brew, Hoppily, BeerBods or Beer52, who even do a cool mag to supplement your beer knowledge too.

So, cheers to that! I’m off to buy more beer.

A Work Trip With Porpoise


At O Street, few things are held in such mythical regard as the annual fishing trip. Chaotic to organise, usually involving rain, and in danger of being overhyped, it is a trip held close to all of our hearts (and brains). It’s a chance to put the tools down, pick the rods up, and spend time with your work colleagues doing anything but work.

Having just returned from another successful voyage out onto Loch Fyne with the same number of team members that we left with, we can share some snaps (sorry mackerel, too soon) and our arthouse holiday video edit as is tradition.

First things first, stock up on fish catching fuel at Fyne Ales. We popped by and picked up some old faithfuls (Easy Trail & Workbench), as well as a keg of Hopsmuggler, a limited run West Coast Pale Ale done in collaboration with Little Thistle Brewing Co. Safe to say it was DELICIOUS and quite possibly unfairly portioned amongst the O team (I’m sorry it was just too tasty).

O Street's 2019 Fishing Trip to Loch Fyne (Left) 2 people standing outside Fyne Ales Farm Brewery Shop. (Right) Tessa in the Fyne Ales Farm Brewery Window.

With the admin out the way, time to get out on that sea loch my dudes! Rods in hand, boat in water, hope in hearts; we set out to catch some mackerz.

Loch Fyne 2019 O Street Fishing Trip. Graphic designer Tessa Simpson is in the foreground, out of focus with Neil Wallace wading into the loch in the background.Black and White Image of O Street Directors David Freer and Anna Dunn on a Fishing boat. O Street's annual fishing trip 2019, Directors Neil Wallace and Tessa Simpson and Design Jonny Mowat fishing from a boat on Loch Fyne.O Street's David Freer Fishing on Loch Fyne, Scotland.

Our main goal was to catch some mackerel for the crackerel, but nature had more to offer! A smorgasbord of Scottish sea-life was presented before us! Seals belly-chased us from their island to the middle of the bay, cormorants swooped nearby, a pod of porpoises came to say hello (we didn’t take any pictures but it was definitely because we live in the moment and definitely not because we tried to take a picture and took a blurry video instead). Last but not least, Tessa caught a MASSIVE starfish! Look at that sucker!

Glasgow-based Graphic Designer, Tessa Simpson holding up a star fish on O Street's Annual Fishing Trip 2019.

We chucked Patrick back in the water, and continued on the hunt for McMackerel. After another hour or so, we took back a tidy haul. There’s really only one thing you should do when you are gifted some fresh lads from the fish kingdom: sushi. It would be rude not to.

O Street Studio Fishing Trip 2019 - (left) Black and white Sunset (right) fish close upOverview of table with various sushi plates from O Street Design Studio's Annual Fishing Trip.

It was truly a nourishing time, belly-wise and soul-wise. Ended in true O Street fashion, with a dubious jam session round the log-fire. As we know, when you pair any black and white footage with a borderline upsetting rendition of a folk song, you have yourself an arthouse production. So please, enjoy our short film, and take care.


— Jonny


O Street’s Favourite Albums of 2018, Illustrated


Last year we treated you to tracks, and this year it’s albums. Being designers and music geeks, we felt a good way to recap our year would be to each pick a favourite album of 2018 and illustrate a cover for it. Have a listen to the top songs from each album on this neat playlist we made here.

boygenius, boygenius

I could listen to these three extraordinary artists together on repeat all day, and the studio will testify I do often try to do so. Lucy Dacas, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers blend their individual dreamy melodies and mournful songwriting in this disarming self-titled first album. They each bring a bit of themselves to the EP—you can get a feel for the driver behind each song as you listen—but their collaborative voices and styles work so well together to create something new. Something that is truly beautiful to listen to.

Parquet Courts, Wide Awake!

Man, I really like Parquet Courts.

Incredibles 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Michael Giacchino

I have a confession to make: I don’t really listen to albums as albums anymore. Especially not current releases. Not through any hip effort, it’s just that I kneel before the Almighty Algorithm when it comes to discovering music these days. However, I am more intentionally selective in watching films, and the Incredibles 2 was such a big deal for me that it has straddled multiple genres for being my biggest release of the year. That said, the music is a huge part of what makes it so nostalgic. It’s like if James Bond knew how to have fun, and also played alto sax. P.S. I condemn any & all acapella covers that may be hanging about at the bottom of the album.
– Jonny

Modern Leisure , Super Sad Rom-Com

Some of my favourite music is more than just good tunes, but a trigger that reminds me of a time or a place. This one reminds me of a great few weeks I had in Denver at the end of the summer in 2018. Especially consuming sour beers and chicken wings with my very good friend Hercules Campbell, while discovering this band playing at the bar. (Bonus points for the band having the album on audio cassette on their merch table)
– David

Peter Perrett , How The West Was Won

I’ve always loved the Only Ones, even when everybody said they weren’t cool and they weren’t punk and they weren’t blah, blah, this or that. To me, they were off-beat contrary and catchy as hell and that was good enough. Frontman Peter Perrett just had something going, like he was on his own louche South London planet rock. And he was funny with nice hair too. Thus I noted the Only Ones untimely demise and his subsequent demon struggle of a solo career with some sadness. So listening to 6Music, his deadpan raucous toe-tapping gem of a comeback after all this time was kinda special. It’s the record I thought I’d never hear… and I’m not the only one.
– Neil

Jon Hopkins, Singularity

Do you remember the first time you put on Jon Hopkins’ Singularity really loud, laid down on your IKEA rug of choice and experienced a head-exploding-body-melting-into-the-floor union with the whole cosmos? No? What are you waiting for?
– Josh