I’m Michael Dick, a graphic designer, photographer, creative and the passionate founder of the creative hub that is the small but perfectly formed The Shortbread Shed.
I’ve been a graphic designer for over 27 years, a photographer for over 15 and a creative thinker all my life. Ever since secondary school all I ever wanted to do was be a creative individual. My granddad was a photographer, my dad, along with three of his brothers were also photographers. My Grandma went to the Glasgow School of Art and was an accomplished painter and illustrator so I guess creativity has flowed down the bloodline to me!
The name The Shortbread Shed came about after a lengthy search for something unique and a bit different. It was a nod to my Scottishness and my desire to create distinctive and original Scottish stationery items. However, not to limit myself, I have expanded the borders to the creative world. As for the shed. Yes, I do have a shed at the bottom of the garden and I love it. It’s full of design and photography books and it’s my creative hub where all the magic happens!
What The Shortbread Shed does
I’m a storytelling photographer. Using an array of artistic techniques to help convey something more than just an image. My creative design background influences how I produce my photography today. Instead of creating the normal ‘safe’ shots, I strive to do something a bit more unique and interesting.
Print is my favorite medium and I love the tactile qualities it imparts. Uncoated paper is my choice of stock. There’s something really special about opening a freshly printed piece for the first time. No creases, finger marks, blemishes or scuffs. It feels great to be the first to touch and smell the fresh ink on paper giving another tickle on the senses.
Below are just a few of the creative skills I have to offer:
- Unique, high-quality photo books that tell a story. Utilizing graphic design and typographical skills to layout and flow content throughout the book.
- Creating intriguing and unique crafted stationery items. Notebooks in all shapes and sizes that have a special tactile quality to them, visually appealing and incorporating special folding and binding techniques.
- Bespoke folders and envelopes in all shapes and sizes.
- Creative note cards to inspire.
Mix all three ingredients together – photography, design and creative and you get
The Shortbread Shed.
A few things that might interest you about me
- I grew up in a stunning location just south-west of Loch Lomond in Scotland. In 1996 I moved south of the border to England and after a few residencies in various locations I now live in the beautiful city of St Albans, Hertfordshire, England with my wife and son.
- Ahoy there shipmates! – In 2000/2001 I set sail around the world taking part in the world’s toughest yacht race – The BT Global Challenge (A 36,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of the globe against prevailing winds and currents). I had NO sailing experience prior to me signing up three years before the race start, it just felt like the right thing to do at the time. To me, it was all about the adventure. Twelve teams took part setting off from Southampton, heading across the Atlantic for Boston. Then it was onto Buenos Aires, Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town, La Rochelle, and finally back home to good old Blighty, finishing back in Southampton and completing our seven leg yacht race around the world. There were 12 identical yachts that took part, 72’ long, made from steel and each carried a crew of 18 and I was just one of those adventurous people.
- I explored Canada for two and a half months. First crossing from the east to the west coast by train from Toronto to Vancouver (4 days and some 4,500KM) and then back again by Greyhound bus.
- The most creative and artistic place I have ever been to is Bali in Indonesia.
- I like to run half marathons and 10K’s. Although I’ve completed the London Marathon three times, I somehow don’t feel the inclination to do anymore.
- One of my favorite self-projects was creating a coffee table book on doors from around the world.
- I create storytelling photo books from my travels.
- I create a family Christmas card every year. Every year it gets harder to come up with something more creative than the previous one.
- I get really excited about all kinds of creative stationery.
- I’m passionate about typography and it’s use within layouts for books and magazines.
- I have a curated collection of some amazing modern children’s illustrated picture books thanks to my young son. I had no idea these existed until I started buying them for him. From a select few, not only are the stories great but the typography, illustration, colour, layout and paper stock is a designers dream. A couple of my favorites are by Oliver Jeffers and Russell Ayto.
- I have seen the Northern Lights (The aurora borealis) while in Canada from the back of an open top pick up truck. Traveling down the highway at great speed with straw from hay bails in the back blowing in our faces. Feeling rather merry while heading back from a wedding, the sight was awesome! I have also see the Southern Lights (The aurora australis) in the Southern Ocean while sailing from Buenos Aires to Wellington. With no light pollution, black skies and no landmass from horizon to horizon to interrupt our view. On deck in the middle of the night, we witnessed a most spectacular light show.
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