Grafter's tote bags: Morgan Musselle

Morgan Musselle , the man behind the striking Grafter design on our brand-new Grafter tote bags.

Words and photography by Colleen Considine.

This year is about creating a new Grafter print magazine. However, to do this, Grafter needs the proper funding to get it off the ground. For those new here, I'm Colleen, the sole editor and creator of Grafter. It's a one-woman indie powerhouse project that needs you, those who are reading this, I need your help. So when you get to the end of this article, check out what's for sale and grab yourselves a bargain! Alongside two digital magazines, these brilliant tote bags are now for sale. The aim back in December was to create an apparel and look for Grafter that is so recognisable. So identifiable that when you buy it, you’d instantly be part of the team.

It only seemed right to collaborate with the brilliant Morgan Musselle. Going simply by Mr Mogs on his socials, Mogs is a graphic designer based in Bedford. He also happens to be a huge bike lover. And it was at the infamous Boyds of Bedford bike and car meet where I met both Morgan and the man behind Boyds, Tom. Boyds of Bedford is a bike, cafe, clothing shop, it's a modern department store, for those part of the cool table. They also do on-site printing, for both their clothing line and other brands!

Mogs has been doing this for a few years now, so he knows what he’s talking about. When I first decided on merch, I wanted it to stand out. Something that people could relate to. Over just another logo on a tote bag. He enthralled himself in Grafter. He wanted to know the reasoning behind it, get into my mind. He also took what he wanted to see. I didn't just want to have my sold personality in the bag. It had to be something we both loved, so Mogs brought his comedic personality and created something fun. It's also the case, if you don't have a comedic bone in your body, if you're not sarcastic, you won't get it. And that's just perfect. Grafter isn't for everyone to understand, but if you do, you're part of it.

It was seeing the design Mogs created for Boyds of Bedford when I knew he had to create the first product. A design to kickstart Boyds campaign, getting the business off the ground again. It illustrates everything Boyds are about. A vintage B-twin design with a little Boyds signature on the exhaust pipes that form the iconic Boyds B.

And Mogs didn’t create just one design, he went all out and produced 10 different designs. After narrowing it down to just 4 we then went with one that I loved. So, going from that, he re-designed it. That’s one thing I have to praise Mogs for. The care he took for the designs, even when I wanted them to have a re-vamp. You get it with a lot of people, sure. But he totally understood where I was coming from and went back just to make them better. He didn’t have to, especially with the tight budget.

What he created was better than I imagined. Having come back with another 10 designs, it was hard to choose just one. Grafter, as well as being something serious and a showcase of talent, is fairly witty. Taking things with a pinch of salt. Not being afraid to bite back. And Mogs got this feeling straight away. The one design I decided on was something I personally hadn’t seen before. ‘This is my shop-lifting bag, but today is my day off.’

And The funny thing is, Grafter’s don’t really have any days off. Not the ones who work day and night, or thinking about the next project. I can't say I have a personal connection to shoplifting myself. However, if you do take it seriously that's just as funny.

It’s bold in colour and style. You either like it or you don’t. And that’s great. Something we were both on the same page with was logos. I think logos on clothing is key. However, sometimes, it doesn’t need to be the main image. Tote bags shouldn’t be taken too seriously. They are a cool item for shopping so should be treated so. A stylish design over a logo for the first launch was exactly what I was looking for.

From start to finish of working with Mogs it’s been fun. For the first launch of designs I wanted to get it just right. And Mogs understood this completely. Some designers often take what people say so literally. But the best thing, in my opinion, is creating something inspired by you. What you take from the brand and what you want to see.

Keeping it all local, I went to the crew at Boyds of Bedford for their help. Newspaper boy style tote bags with a hand-printed design on 100% Organic Cotton. An independent helping out another independent, there's nothing better than collaboration. A complete family run business who only seek the complete best out of their work. Highly recommended you get your printing needs done at Boyds.

I can’t praise the work of Mogs enough. He’s not only worked for my lil’ brand, but the Hairy Bikers, Odeon, Slug & Lettuce, Boyds of Bedford and many more. He’s always thinking of something. He’s trying to get to know you so he can be at one with the project. That sense of wanting to be part of your brand was consistent. From start to finish he embraced what I have been trying to illustrate. Kicking off the Grafter clothing line with a vibrant red tote bag. One that you should now buy!

A digital re-issue of Grafter's first print magazine is for sale and these gorgeous tote bags, and once these are gone, they are gone! This Friday, tune in to get the brand-new Grafter digital magazine. A one-time Grafter product that you should definitely get your hands on. Grab yours now and support this one-woman indie powerhouse project in style.

Giveaway time!

Prize 1. X 2 digital magazines and the tote bag.

Prize 2. X2 digital magazine.

Prize 3. X1 digital magazine of your choice and a shoutout.

So for a chance to win one of the above, go to Grafter's Instagram, find the latest post and do this:

No 1. Like and save the post.

No 2. Follow Grafter.

No 3. Comment three friends and share to your story with Grafter tagged.

Winner announced: 5th March at 12pm.

Make sure you check out Mogs on his socials and website. Give him a follow and commission him for your design!

This Friday alongside Grafter Chats to with the lovely Abby Athena, the first Grafter digital magazine will be released. Selling 150 products, 50 totes and 100 digital copies, we'll be well on our way to printing the next magazine!

Tote bag:

Digital magazine print re-issue:


Boyds of Bedford & Print works:

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