British Library

Exhibition publicity

How do you represent, visually, an exhibition about spoken (and written) language? How do you convey such a complex subject in a simple, compelling message?

We used a mixture of word-play, puns and idiotic idioms, placed in context to give a sense of the full breadth of the exhibition.

The campaign was a huge success, helping Evolving English to become the British Library’s busiest ever winter exhibition.





Working with their in-house marketing and curatorial teams, we created designs to be used for a broad campaign (online and offline) rolling out across the months of the exhibition.

We did all of the copywriting in-house; it had to be clever enough to be interesting but accessible enough for the wide target demographic.






This was a great example of how hands-on the process can be. I got to work with the BL Conservation team, sourcing aged leather, that they foil-blocked (by hand). And Michael even got his mother-in-law to do the cross-stitching.

Cog cleverly captured the essence of our complex messages in seemingly simple combinations of words and pictures. They delivered a core campaign that we could adapt, in-house, across any media. We’re delighted because that imagery helped us reach our target audiences (38% of visitors were under 35; 43% were first time visitors to the Library) and made this our most successful winter exhibition, ever.

Jane Richardson, Marketing & Programme Manager

Commuters walking past a tube poster for the evolving english campaign.

Six-sheet posters, displayed prominently across the London Transport network

The street outside the Library with tall poster panels showing the various campaign posters

Poster panels, along Euston Road, in front of British Library

Author David Crystal making a speech in front of one of the campaign designs

Opening speech by David Crystal, the author of the exhibition’s book

Evolving English branding device printed onto large panels on the exterior of the British Library

Our exhibition branding used to wrap the British Library in language