Meet the designer behind the latest ‘A Heart as Big as Barnsley’ collection

Our latest ‘A Heart as Big as Barnsley’ collection launched on 17 June, and we are delighted to introduce the designer behind the latest collection, Josh Griffin at FYI Studios. Here, Josh talks about the inspiration behind the design and what it means to give back to his home town.

How did you feel when you were asked to take part in the A Heart as Big as Barnsley campaign?

I felt very honoured. Being from Barnsley myself and growing up around that area, it feels great to help spread a bit of joy in the town that made me.

What made you want to get involved? 

I love being able to use graphic design to help people and raise money for good causes. During the lockdown, as an agency (FYI Studios), we co-curated a project called ‘Posters For The People’. It was a campaign to show our appreciation to key workers by designing and printing posters with messages of gratitude from different artists across Sheffield and Leeds and placing them in as many places as possible – even internationally. The feedback from that was incredible, and it goes to show just how much positive design can have an effect on people and lift their spirits. We’re so glad that we could channel some of that energy again into this project, and I really hope that the ‘A Heart as Big as Barnsley’ message spreads happiness and joy to all that see it.

As someone who is from Barnsley, what does the phrase ‘A Heart as Big as Barnsley’ mean to you? 

To me, it’s about friendliness and willingness to talk to people and accept them. People say Yorkshire is the friendliest place in Britain, and I believe that Barnsley is the ‘most Yorkshire’ place in Yorkshire. You could stop and have a chat with almost anyone in and around Barnsley, and they’d listen to your story and share theirs.

Talk us through the design. What were your influences?

The design is based on the classic 70s/80s Varsity College sports team designs, something that has definitely increased in popularity in recent years thanks to shows such as Stranger Things. I’m a big fan of bold and simple design, but I’m also a fan of tiny details and intricacies that only become apparent after studying it for a while – hence the tiny love heart shading pattern on this design.

What do you think of the finished result?

I couldn’t be happier with the final result. They’ve come out much better than expected, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Also, seeing the shirts photographed in the mighty Oakwell stadium was incredible!

You can purchase a piece from our ‘A Heart as Big as Barnsley’ collection from our Barnsley Hospice Retail Hub in Dodworth. T-shirts are priced at £15, and hoodies and sweatshirts are available for £25. All profits go toward supporting the care and support provided at Barnsley Hospice.

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