Creative design #6

End of the line

As part of my journey into using Affinity Designer I created a ‘railway poster style’ image for the Welsh Highland Railway (WHR) Station in Caernarfon, North Wales. It’s a metal and glass, minimalist architecture structure on the outskirts of the town.

In complete contrast is the evocative Harbour Station in Porthmadog, built at the Western end of the embankment across Traeth Mawr (basically, ‘big beach’) known as ‘The Cob’. The station served the WHR from 1923 until the line service ceased in 1936; WHR services to Porthmadog were resumed in 2011. The original purpose of the station was to receive slate quarried at Blaenau Ffestiniog and carried by the Ffestiniog Railway into Porthmadog port. This line had opened in 1836, almost 30 years before the original wooden station structure, and was replaced with the present stone building in 1878/79. The fine Victorian edifice is a magnet for tourists and steam enthusiasts alike, and is now the passenger terminus for both the WHR and the Ffestiniog Railway Lines.

Requiring so many layers of shapes and colours to build up the final image, this poster taught me much about the need for bespoke colour palettes and adopting a rhythm of design stages. The carriage alone has 27 components, each seeming to have a will of its own and not willing to play nicely with the others. It has been fun though and a great excuse for reliving Covid-free times when we would travel to ‘Port’ (as it’s locally known) by train or car. The station boasts a shop with a great range of books, DVDs, and memorabilia on steam trains and trams, as well as a bar and restaurant for pre- or post- travel refreshment. We love it and are so looking forward to the new season and, hopefully, new freedoms in which to enjoy it.