Design studio O Street has taken a trip down memory lane with the launch of its latest book Label O’ Love. An ode to vinyl stickers from the 60s and 70s, the book is a pocket-sized celebration that features adhesive assets that readers are free to play with.
For readers of a certain age, chances are they will be familiar with the works of McGavigan & Co without even realising it. That’s because the Glasgow-based company produced vinyl stickers that adorned the doors and windows of shops all over the country during the 60s and 70s. And after an old box of their stickers was passed on to O Street co-owner Neil Wallace, it wasn’t long until they started to take on a new life.
“The first thing that hit was the smell,” Neil tells Creative Boom. “Chemical and pungent like a ’70s disco night. The box was heavy – there were clearly many of these things in there. Some were in folders. Some were loose. Some were buckled and stuck together. As I started to pull stuff out, the colours and shapes hit me almost as hard as the nitrates. “
Left to Neil by his wife’s grandfather Jack McGavigan, the treasure trove of stickers soon became the focus of a dedicated Instagram page. Over the years, O Street experimented with other ways of furthering the reach of these uniquely designed and beautifully realised stickers, including bespoke merch and larger than life murals, before settling on the idea of carefully crafted publication.
And by the looks of the finished product, it’s a worthy subject that’s paid off. McGavigan’s can trace its history back to the 1850s when it originated as a trade counter for bespoke stationery. Still, it was during the ’60s and ’70s that designers such as Neil became familiar with the company. This was due in no small part to the dry-transfer lettering system known as Letraset, which was originally developed in the McGavigan factory.
“Jack, bless him, knew I was in the design trade and rightly reasoned that I would derive some sort of odd pleasure from a musty box of stickers that he’d kept in a cupboard for 40 years,” Neil adds.
“Sifting through them then (and ever since), I found myself smiling away, remembering all the times and places in the past I’d encountered the cheery pop of this vinyl. Shop doors; garage tool chests; department store windows… There’s nothing to trip the memory like the image of a local shopfront with a chicken-sized sticker advertising chickens. Or tea bags or American tan tights. Or maybe that’s just me?”
With a recent launch at O Street’s Glasgow Studio, complete with window stickers, coasters, and the original stickers on display to pay tribute to its inspiration, Label O’ Love is available to buy now by dropping them an email. Risograph prints of the stickers are also available when you get in contact with the studio.