Bringing an idea to life

Dylan Macdonaldblog

Every day, Fishers’ laundry trucks drive past Scotland’s major landmarks delivering towels and bed linen to hotels and B&Bs across the country making sure Scotland’s visitors always get a world-class welcome and a great night’s sleep.

When staying at a hotel you’ll maybe notice the housekeepers sometimes get creative, turning your bath towel into a swan or your face cloth into a love heart but you never see towel art of say, Edinburgh Castle or the Finnieston Crane or other famous land marks. At least we don’t – and this got us thinking.

You see Fishers isn’t just a laundry company, they play a vital role in the hospitality and tourism industry. They’re the headline sponsor for VisitScotland’s annual Scottish Thistle Awards – often referred to as the Oscars of Scotland’s hospitality and tourism industry – and we help them showcase their key messages at Edinburgh International Conference Centre. We’ve had their name up in lights (literally) and had a 3.5 tonne Fishers truck take centre stage (honestly).

We always aim to go one better and last year, after thinking carefully about what Fishers services and delivers, we conceived the most out-there idea yet. We pitched our idea of designing towel sculptures to recreate key Scottish landmarks which would showcase the Fishers brand to all key players in the industry attending the awards. To get the ball rolling we had to convince not only Fishers, but Visit Scotland, that we could make this happen.

An early sketch of the plinth design by Gavin Coley.

With creative concepts it is important to have everyone on board with the idea straight away. It is not easy to imagine towel sculptures standing two metres tall but our passion, enthusiasm and our vision for the project was clear. We got the green light.

When starting from scratch on a big project it can sometimes feel overwhelming, but a detailed plan with a strict timeline on progress will help. Being organised is key!

To bring the towel sculptures to life we knew it was vital to establish a relationship with the artist early on and after several visits to his workshop, Gavin Coley at Abacus Model Makers was on board. We liaised regularly on timescales, design and materials while collaborating on the best way to deliver the art.

One of the towel sculptures pictured in the workshop.


We managed the project daily, giving Fishers and VisitScotland regular updates, so everyone involved was able to see step-by-step how the project was progressing.  But the lead up to an event can be an extremely busy time, coordinating everything that needs to be done, so it is vital to stay calm – especially when you get thrown a curve ball or two. This almost always happens.

On this occasion, we had an issue of how to get power to light up the towel sculptures but by keeping a cool head we worked with VisitScotland and the EICC to ensure the towel sculptures were delivered exactly as planned. There is always a solution if you are prepared to go over and above to make it happen.

One of the towel sculptures – the Finnieston Crane – in situ at the Thistle Awards National Final.

Two million pieces of laundry pass through Fishers’ laundries every week and we are so proud to have brought some of these towels to life in a truly iconic way – so much so we’ve now got one in our office!

Contact Ewan to chat about creative brand activation. Connect with Ewan on LinkedIn.