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Being involved with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opened up new global opportunities for Tangent Graphic.

Tangent Designs banners for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

The lead design agency behind the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow-based design studio Tangent Graphic found themselves succeeding on the global stage. 

Going off on a tangent

Tangent Graphic has been providing branding and design services to clients around the UK and internationally for almost a decade.

The lead design agency behind the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games, the company’s design team created the ruby-coloured People Make Glasgow branding for Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, which is still proudly displayed across the city on bags, lanyards, posters and badges.

Tangent Graphics design for the Glasgow 2014 velodrome

Formed organically on the back of multiple freelance projects, Tangent Graphic was started by David Whyte, Andrew Stevenson and Steven Waldron, who met whilst studying at Glasgow's College of Building and Printing - now City of Glasgow College. 

The team has since grown in size to nine, but David is keen to keep it relatively small. As indicated by the name, the company truly embraces lateral thinking. David White, director, explains: "We don't want to be bracketed as just a sector specific branding agency. We have such a diverse offering and draw from one client sector to benefit another."

Design helps make Glasgow

Welcoming an additional five members into the team to support their activity, Tangent Graphic began working on Glasgow 2014 four years before the big event and continued well into 2015. 

The company’s relationship with the Games began when it successfully tendered for the contract to create the official sports icons for Glasgow 2014. The pictograms were an integral part of the Games identity, opening the door to a host of additional design contracts to support the Games. 

The team saw the pictograms as the first test and went onto design the branding and publications to support a range of projects, including the Queen’s Baton Relay, the volunteer programme and the Legacy identity. Producing all of the Glasgow 2014 publications, including the Look Programme, Tangent Graphic essentially 'designed' the city's appearance throughout the Games. 

David explains, “We were inspired by the opportunity to lead and develop what we believe is the biggest design and branding project in Scotland in recent years. As proud Glaswegians, we wanted the Games to be a success and there was never a doubt in our minds that it wouldn’t be the case. I think it’s this conviction and belief that appealed to the Organising Committee.” 

A prosperous future

Since being involved in the Games, Tangent Graphic has attracted a host of new business opportunities. 

"We always had great word-of-mouth recommendations and are generally known for our highly creative approach, particularly through our involvement with the arts", says David. 

"However, the Games really associated us with a larger, international scale of work."

Named as the design agency behind the upcoming Turner Prize, they're also taking on the multi-million pound re-development of Glasgow's Kelvin Hall - transforming the area into the city's arts and cultural centre. 

We always had great word-of-mouth recommendations and are generally known for our highly creative approach, particularly through our involvement with the arts. The Games, however, really associated us with a larger international scale of work.

David Whyte, director, Tangent Graphic

They have been approached by a brewery, an untapped sector for the company, and they are also in discussions around another large international project, as a direct result of their exposure at the Games. 

David believes that Glasgow 2014’s legacy will inspire a new generation of sports stars and Scottish businesses, challenging negative perceptions of Glasgow. 

“We are definitely being invited to a lot more discussions and being offered bigger jobs now that we have proven we have the strategic experience to match our creatively-focused approach. Scotland has always been home to talented people. Glasgow 2014 was an excellent opportunity for Scotland’s talents to shine and for the world’s stage to notice.”

Challenging perceptions about the ability of small creative agencies to take on global competitors, Tangent Graphic is forging a name for itself on a global stage.

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