Cards bearing the image of a controversial Elgin statue have proved a surprise hit for a town centre stationery shop.
When the Dandy Lion monument was unveiled on the Plainstones late last year, as part of a heritage trail, it provoked a flurry of criticism.
Naysayers described the half-lion and half-fish creation – which is adorned with a monocle, moustache and top hat – as “cultural vomit”.
But owners of the nearby Pencil Me In shop decided to show some solidarity with the much maligned figure.
And cards featuring a watercolour picture of Dandy Lion, along with the slogan “haters gonna hate”, have become an unexpected hit.
Owner Sarah Holmes believes some have been sent in jest to people who dislike the statue.
The 34-year-old said: “When Dandy Lion went up it was pretty controversial, a lot of people aren’t keen on it.
“But it is something different for the town, and so are we, so that’s why we have decided to offer some support.
“I’m not a huge fan of the statue myself, but art is supposed to get people talking and it’s done exactly that.”
The shop began stocking pencils featuring the words “I am Dandy Lion” shortly after the 10ft centrepiece was revealed.
An artist friend of Mrs Holmes later presented the shopkeeper with an illustration of Dandy Lion, with the phrase now featured on the cards.
She added: “The saying ‘haters gonna hate’ sort of sums up the Dandy Lion.
“When we had a first batch printed they sold out within weeks and we are now onto our second.
“People are mainly buying them because they like the statue or think that it’s funny, and they want to send them to Elgin folk who no longer live here.
“Some, though, are buying them for people who really hate the statue – just to wind them up.”
The Dandy Lion is designed to reflect different aspects of the town’s history, and a plaque at its base explains the significance of each feature.
The Princess Royal cast an eye over the statue during a visit to Moray in March, and described it as “colourful”.