A LEIGH self taught graphic designer has embarked on a second collaboration with one of the world's top punk artistes.

Craig Cowburn, of Orchard Close, established his own exclusive limited edition online clothing and accessories brand, CLOSERThanMOST/The Working-class Brand, which is inspired by British working class sub-culture, to target both the home market and has equally helped pull in a niche global following.

Craig is currently working with US punk artiste Lars Frederiksen after meeting him, at a concert in Manchester a few years ago.

Craig said: "It was quite surreal, really as I randomly got offered some VIP passes to a gig in Manchester via private message on Instagram.

"The sender of the message explained how he really loved the brand and had been buying our t-shirts for some time.

" I won't lie, apart from seeing the odd post via social media I wasn't really sure who was in the band Rancid.

"It was only when we arrived and met the band that my girlfriend, who came to the gig with me realized who was the band's front-man.

"She had been a huge fan of of the band so she was slightly starstruck.

"We got talking and he suggested that we should work on something together when they got back to US.

"So we swapped numbers and have kept in touch ever since.

"Our first collaboration was a t-shirt that we worked on together. "

To help promote his latest design, which is a second collaboration with Lars, Craig is using the industrial backdrop of Leigh for a photo and video shoot.

He explains: "When I first started back in 2012 all of the printing was done in Leigh, but the company who was printing for me expanded and moved out of the town.

"So, alongside some other printers in the Greater Manchester area, I did stick with him.

" However, I do use some businesses in the town for embroidery and small manufacturing jobs.

"Everything else minus labels and tags is produced in the North of England.

"All the designs are created from a home studio in Leigh

"I am proud of my town specifically its industrial past and if I can do a small part on putting us on the map, I will."

The second project for Craig involved a series of transatlantic telephone calls to work on a new design for Lars who tours with a number of bands including The Old Firm Casuals.

Craig adds: "The first collaboration was a great success so we agreed to work on a second subcult/music themed t-shirt design.

"Despite all his fame and fortune, Lars is a really down to earth guy who has come from a humble background. So he's really easy to get along with.

"To be working with such highly respected influential artiste's raises the brand's profile. "Plus it has given me heaps of exposure over in the United States, which is rarely an easy task."

For more information about Craig's company visit closerthanmost.com.