Alexandre Bettler
'Happy Mini New
Cab Year'

Half Swiss and half French, Alex first visited Hackney 8 years ago. Before moving here he lived in Brixton and Shoreditch, and then came to Hackney, “To be near friends and for the affordable rent and vibrant atmosphere.” He is interested in the power of graphic design to stimulate communication and dialogue, and keeps this is in mind when designing posters and books. “I also organise events and workshops and run an online shop,” he adds.

For his installation at the Diamond Cars office, he has worked with the existing signage – he explains, “I liked the mini cab’s eclectic way of displaying information, so by using a graphic style similar to the one already in the window, I tried to find a subtle way to draw people’s attention and just played with their language 
by tweaking the wording and graphics to wish people 
a Happy New Year”.

Diamond Car Service,
21 Stoke Newington Road

Cemal Karakus came to the UK from Turkey 20 years ago and opened his cab office 4 years ago. Running it with his partner Ali, he has seen customer numbers decline and is now only busy at weekends. “London was very cheap before. Now people earn the same wages but house prices and expenses have gone up by 4 or 5 times.”

He likes the fact that, “The face of Dalston has changed 
to become more open to outsiders, with different types of people moving here,” but adds, “Now Tesco is here which means local shops lose money. I hate Tesco.”