Best foot forward: Lynne McCusker’s bold branding for a new retro shoe store


Lynne McCusker is a senior freelance designer based in Scotland. With 17 years of experience in the design industry and the last nine years spent as a freelancer, she specializes in all aspects of creativity, from branding and print work to web design. and social. Its clients include L’Oréal, ​Law Society of Scotland, Scott Group, Ayrshire College and Natural Power.

“I studied graphic design at the Glasgow School of Art and have since worked in several design disciplines,” she explains. “I started my career at the promotional marketing agency This Is BD, working on promotional and experiential projects for Arla Foods, Diageo and The Famous Grouse. I then changed direction and moved to the agency focused on the brand, Redhouse Lane, working on corporate communications and branding.”

Recently, Lynne shared with us her brand concept for an upcoming Glasgow-based rare and vintage shoe store called Futties Gutties & Baffies. Although the store won’t launch until next year, we love the designs and wanted to know more about them.

The brief was quite simple, says Lynne: “To create a brand new brand for a retro shoe store based in Glasgow. The city has always had a thriving second-hand and vintage clothing market, and the West End, in particular, is well known for its quirky shops.The market is usually made up of students and people in their twenties who live and work in the area.Glasgow University and the School of Art are based nearby, and there are a huge market to exploit.

The goal was to give the new store a decidedly retro vibe, both in look and color, she adds. “The owners themselves dress in vintage fashion, and they wanted the shop to reflect their sense of style and tap into the student/young professional market. The shop will sell all kinds of rare and vintage shoes, from one-of-a-kind 1960s snakeskin boot sneakers.”

First, Lynne worked with the owners to come up with the name, which may be confusing to some non-Scots. “The three words describe shoes in the Scottish vernacular,” says Lynne. ‘Futties’ are sneakers, ‘gutties’ are trainers and ‘baffies’ are slippers.”

The name is unique and memorable and suggests a clear design approach. “The solution we settled on was a stacked logo, playing on the double ‘TT’ and ‘FF’ in the three words,” says Lynne. “The double letters were visually aligned to create a bold rectangular logo. The color scheme was directly inspired by the retro/vintage colors of the 1970s and designed to give the storefront a bold look.”

There’s also a distinctly retro vibe to the typeface and photographic processing. “The brand’s typeface is Adrianna Extended, while the color palette combines 1970s-inspired tones,” says Lynne. “We were thinking of rugs, sofas, curtains and upholstery. The main orange brand is also a customer favourite, so it needed to feature prominently.”

The store is still in its early stages, and the owners hope to launch it in early 2023. The visuals Lynne has designed so far will inform the look of the store front and all materials, from business cards to shoe boxes and clothing labels.

“The owners hope to advertise the launch locally in the Glasgow area, through paid advertising and guerrilla marketing, in the form of Banksy-style stencils around the local area,” says Lynne. “We’ve had great feedback on the name, so we’re hoping to build on that by creating interest ahead of launch.

“Because second-hand clothes don’t always fit perfectly, the shop will meet customers’ needs by offering a fitting/altering service,” she adds. “That’s quite rare for a vintage store. It will follow shortly after launch and will give the business a unique edge.”


Comments are closed.