In paper and ink, it captures the grandeur of Scotland – to mark the birthday of the newspaper that has chronicled the country for two centuries.
An award-winning illustrator and architectural designer has unveiled a new artwork to commemorate The Scotsman’s 200th anniversary.
The map of Scotland by David Fleck takes in country kirks, city tower blocks and the mountain ranges of the Cairngorms and the Highlands.
The intricate hand-drawn map also features some of the country’s best-known buildings and iconic structures, from Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument to the Forth Bridge, the Titan crane and the SECC “armadillo”, the Glenfinnan viaduct, the Kelpies, a North Sea oil rig, and, at its northernmost point, Muckle Flugga lighthouse.
The work also incorporates the thistle that has adorned the newspaper’s masthead ever since the first edition went to press on 25 January, 1817, while at the foot of the map stands a likeness of the Foster printing press used to publish The Scotsman in its old Cockburn Street offices during the 19th century.
Mr Fleck, 27, from Edinburgh, used a scale model of the original press, on display at the National Museum of Scotland, to form the foundation of the artwork.
As part of Scotland’s national newspaper’s ongoing bicentenary celebrations, the illustration was commissioned to reflect the title’s heritage, values and traditions.
Mr Fleck said the brief was “pretty daunting”, but that he then realised it was also one which allowed him to look to Scotland’s future as well as its past.
“It was hard to know where to begin when trying to capture 200 years of Scotland in one image, but it suited my illustration style,” the graduate of the Glasgow School of Art said. “It’s an illustration that’s graphic and detailed yet also with feeling.
“The first idea that stuck was that of the printing press. The intricacy and mechanics of it seemed alluring and fitted my style. The image developed around that along with the newspaper’s old masthead.”
He added: “Eventually the idea of the map evolved. I was playing around with the ideas of Scotland’s icons and elements from history, as well as looking optimistically ahead.”
Ian Stewart, The Scotsman’s editorial director, said: “I was keen to mark the huge milestone that is 200 years with something a bit different that would obviously talk to the history and 200 years, but also reflected the values of the paper, something of demonstrable quality.
“Gill Neil, our group national sales manager, suggested we commission a piece of art, and that was a great idea.
“I loved the thought that it would even be something of paper and ink.”
The resulting illustration has been turned into a series of high-quality prints. Each copy is signed, numbered, and embossed with a special stamp, and will be given to The Scotsman’s staff to mark the anniversary.
Mr Stewart added: “It is something of great quality that will last, and that is very fitting.”