What does your design say about you? A look at Lit Fest Design

September 8, 2010

Two literary festivals, two very different brochures.


Strolling back from a leisured lunch through the cafe at the entrance to my office building I found two very different brochures for two very similar looking events; The Sheffield Festival of Writing and Reading, and The Manchester Literature Festival. The two are stark in their contrasting designs, one is a standard civic festival brochure, informative and clear full of photos of authors and people reading. The second reads, feels and looks like a well produced and stylish zine, worth keeping despite its simple purpose a two week festival brochure.

The Off the Shelf Brochure isn’t bad. It’s clear and concise, full of content. Its just not that interesting. We know what books look like, we know what people reading books look like and we know that most authors aren’t models. It’s quite a businesslike mode of presentation that never really creates a distinct mood out of all the information. Perhaps this is partly to do with the fact that it’s part of a larger Sheffield Festival brand, with its own font ‘n’ photo format across a wide range of events.

What MLF have done with their designer at MARK Studio, however, is to create a brochure that feels and looks like its own unique and intriguing object. The minimalist design and newsprint paper really bring forward, this is a festival about words. It is organized like a zine of collected photos and poems make it an appropriate document for such a festival.

Off the Shelf takes place between the 9th and 30th of October in Sheffield.

Manchester Literature Festival takes place between the 14th and 25th of October in Manchester.



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