Have you ever wondered what inspired (or possessed) Charles Rennie Mackintosh? I have often pondered his exquisitely unique style and found nothing even remotely similar. Whereas in the sign industry we mainly utilise the font that bears his name, he was primarily an architect, and a quite successful one at that.
Born in 1868 in the Townhead area of Glasgow, Mackintosh was a working class boy and one of 11 siblings. From an early age, he demonstrated an obsessive passion for art, relentlessly drawing the flowers his father grew on his allotment. It’s thought he also suffered from a mild form of autism, which could explain his reputation for mood swings as well as his attention to detail seen in his artwork.
Along with three other art students, Mackintosh established the “Glasgow Style”, first shown in a collection of metalwork panels, posters, furniture and silver work at the 1896 Arts & Crafts Exhibition in London. From there, “The Four’s” notoriety grew and together they developed a repertoire characterised by stylised motifs of Celtic, Oriental, Egyptian and natural inspiration, including the iconic Glasgow Rose.