Meet the Northern designer whose Manchester illustrations capture the unique beauty of our city

Dave Robinson is a digital illustrator with an eye for vintage style - and a love of classic Manchester pubs
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Graphic designer Dave Robinson has worked in the creative sector for almost two decades, with clients including the BBC, Preston North End, House of Fraser and The University of Central Lancashire.

A digital illustrator with a passion for vintage aesthetics, his style is instantly recognisable and immediately engaging.

Especially his striking designs featuring our beloved city, featuring everything from Manchester pubs and architecture to trams and footballers, which you can buy as prints or on coasters – the perfect present for all stylish Mancunians this Christmas.

We caught up with the Northern designer to find out about his inspiration – and what’s coming up next. 

“I trained as a graphic designer, so I’ve been doing that for about 20 years, but I think I realised quite early on that I should’ve been an illustrator,” says Dave about his unique style.

His Dad worked for British Rail, which is partly responsible for his love of vintage travel posters. 

And it also meant that Dave, who is from Preston, spent a lot of time as a child travelling to Manchester – a city he’s always felt a strong connection to.

The city’s classic pubs feature heavily in Dave’s elegant illustrations, from the tiny Circus Tavern to the iconic Britons Protection

Does he have a favourite Manchester pub?

“The Peveril of the Peak,” he says.

It’s easy to see why this particular boozer holds such a special position. The Victorian Irish pub, situated on an island between Chepstow Street and Bridgewater Street, is one of the most visually striking in the city.

“It’s so distinctive looking,” says Dave.

“When you walk past it and see all the new buildings that have risen up around it, it almost looks like it’s been in a bubble, in another time. 

“It looks untouched.”

Dave has plans for more Manchester pub designs in the near future, too, including a print featuring lots of different boozers – “like a pub crawl,” he laughs.

Unsurprisingly, people have fallen in love with Dave’s designs, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’ve been so lucky, it’s been really good,” he says. 

“The main feedback I get is: ‘are you going to do this one next?’. So I have a never-ending list.”

Another new piece Dave is working on is called A Great Time in Manchester, which features several of the city’s renowned clock faces.

“The idea is it will be a print with 24 unique clocks on,” he explains. 

“There are so many interesting ones in Manchester. Obviously the really iconic ones like the Town Hall and The Printworks, and there is a really nice one on the side of the Debenhams building, too.”

What else has he got his eye on in terms of Manchester designs?

“I love doing travel posters, so I’d like to do more of those for Manchester,” he says.

“The John Rylands Library, for example. I love that building. And I’m definitely going to do Deansgate Locks. 

“I’ve got a list a mile along.”

We can’t wait.

You can see more of Dave’s designs and place an order via his online shop – just click the button below.

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