6th - 22nd October 2017

Chapter & Verse BlogChapter & Verse Blog

The Manchester Literature Festival Blog

Meet the designer: Mark Lester

Mark Lester of Manchester design studio MARKCourtesy of MARK Studio Ltd.

An image of the MLF 2013 brochure cover, a word puzzle in which the name and dates of the festival are hidden

An image of an illustration for the I have a Dream event in the festival brochure based on a dot-to-dot puzzle of Martin Luther King

A picture of the design work for 2013 Manchester Literature Festival

  • Mark Lester of Manchester design studio MARK
  • An image of the MLF 2013 brochure cover, a word puzzle in which the name and dates of the festival are hidden
  • An image of an illustration for the I have a Dream event in the festival brochure based on a dot-to-dot puzzle of Martin Luther King
  • A picture of the design work for 2013 Manchester Literature Festival

Mark Lester and his award-winning Manchester design studio MARK are responsible for all of the festival’s design and brand work. We always love seeing the striking and imaginative creative Mark and his team come up with; their work for past years’ festivals has featured sign-holding characters from books, handwritten first drafts, and literary passages appearing on billboards and posters. This year’s designs, which look at the 2013 festival programme through the medium of word puzzle books (download the full brochure here to see them), are possibly the most intriguing yet. We caught up with Mark to talk about his work for the festival and where those ideas come from.

How long have you been working with Manchester Literature Festival?

Since 2007.

What do you like about working on the festival's print campaign?

I like the fact that can be anything! Not necessarily just print. Primarily though, we just love working with Cathy and all the MLF team. Everyone is so creatively receptive – and we really appreciate the creative freedom we’re given. It’s always a good team effort and it never feels like work!

Your work for MLF has won prizes in the past – which ones?

We’ve been quite lucky in that respect; New York Art Directors, New York Festivals, D&AD and Creative Review to name a few.

I guess it’s nice to win awards, but personally speaking the biggest buzz is from actual audience feedback – or indeed anyone who isn’t a designer! Our ambition is always to produce something unexpected and provoke some sort of reaction.

Tell us about the concept behind this year's designs? How did you and your team come up with the idea?

We just thought it would be interesting (and perhaps unexpected) to create a series of intriguing event-related puzzles. It’s also quite nice that it has an interactive element.

And lastly (we have to ask): read any good books lately?

I don’t read nearly as much as I should, but I would have to say The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would have to be up there – I couldn’t put it down.