Manchester Literature Festival’s puzzle campaign

Design studio MARK has launched a puzzle-themed campaign to promote this year’s Manchester Literature Festival, including ‘join the dot’ print ads and activity book-style event brochures.

Design studio MARK has launched a puzzle-themed campaign to promote this year’s Manchester Literature Festival, including ‘join the dot’ print ads and activity book-style event brochures.

Posters, postcards and brochures feature a range of visual puzzles, from complete the movie quote quizzes to crosswords and ‘spot the difference’ tasks. Different puzzles reference different events taking place from October 7 to 20 and vary in difficulty depending on the target demographic. Illustrations were completed in house, with help from local artist Simon Henshaw.

“We liked the idea of relating all of the events to puzzles to make the marketing material a little more thought provoking and interactive,” says creative director Mark Lester. “Inevitably, the 6-sheet posters will get drawn on or vandalised – hopefully with nothing too rude though.”

MARK has been designing the festival’s promotional campaigns since it was founded in 2006 and has produced some excellent work: In 2007, the agency released posters of people immersed in literature in unusual settings (such as outside in the middle of a downpour) and last year, it employed people “in rubbish costumes” holding golf sale signs to act as human signage.

“It’s easy to fall into cliches with literature, so every year, we try to do something different and fresh. We like to get people’s attention by making a connection with something unusual or unrelated (such as the puzzles) because it’s more cerebral – people wonder what it’s all about and what it could be for,” he says.

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