Trio teams up to give Manchester City fans a soft landing

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Three collaborators are hoping to help Manchester City fans sit comfortably during a season that promises all the excitement brought by a new manager and new club badge.

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Furniture designer and upholsterer Lee Smith (previously featured on Creative Digest) has teamed up with artist David Gee, who goes by the name of Dave Draws, to produce the City doodle map cushion in tribute to the Etihad club.

Third member of the trio Anthony Rawson owns merchandise website and helped them bring the idea to market after they all met at the Manchester Makers’ Market. City fans may know Anthony as The Ginger Wig.

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The artwork is in Dave’s signature style and includes landmark events and facts about the iconic Manchester football team. A rose, three rivers and a ship in sail all feature, along with the year 1894 prominent. There are also references to celebrity fans Ricky Hatton, Oasis, and Frank Sidebottom on there as well as different locations around Manchester. Alongside the historical elements, the cushion even features fun images, such as Sheikh Mansour in his Lamborghini.

The map is doodled in black and white, with some features highlighted in sky blue. It has been scanned, digitally printed and finished in Manchester.

The friends have already taken the design onto a footstool and produced a larger version, with plans to introduce other merchandise such as mugs, prints and tea towels. As well as the City cushion, Lee and Dave have produced cushions showing maps of Manchester, Salford, Didsbury and the Northern Quarter as well as Stockport, Leeds and Liverpool in the black and white doodle style.

Anthony said: “We’ve had the cushion featured on CityTV as part of the Cityzens event over the summer and sales have been going really well, with regular offers to subscribers to the ManCitygifts newsletter.”

Designer Dave added: “It’s been great to take my signature style and play around with it in a different way, especially with the addition of the famous City blue.”

Originally from Blackburn, Lee set up Loose Button after working as a HR executive for a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland when he decided to swap the corporate world for high-end and custom made furniture. His business is now based in West Didsbury.  The cushion is available from and fans from the red side of Manchester need not worry. Lee and Dave are currently working on a Manchester United version of the doodle map.