The British Library’s latest campaign celebrates “all types of research”

It builds on last year’s widely-shared campaign, which was based on the word “welcome”



A new text-based campaign for the British Library aims to celebrate the diversity of its offerings.

It has been created by Tom Sharp, who is working as an independent, having disbanded the consultancy he co-founded with Ben Haworth — The Beautiful Meme — earlier this year.

Outside the British Library — the UK’s national library — a fifteen-word billboard “plays with a hierarchy of the offers found within”, according to Sharp.

The playful poster lists “shops”, “cafés” and then “the whole wealth of human knowledge, endeavour and experience to date”. The copy is written in the British Library’s brand font, Syntax.


Inside the building, located at St Pancras, the campaign continues with a lengthy poster based around the word “research”.

Drawing on the breadth of options available, it includes activities from “idling through the exhibition space” to “working with a friend on the science of lichen” and categorises them as “research”.

The campaign also highlights the social aspect of the library, grouping the more academic studies with more light-hearted activities like drinking coffee and catching up on gossip.

There are also smaller banners outside the library, with taglines like: “If it happens in the Library it’s research.”

Harriet Darcel, the library’s head of marketing, says that: “Writing and language is central to the British Library.

“Both campaigns build on the Library’s values of welcoming everyone, take us in new directions, with ideas that are playful with form, created to connect with people’s emotions.”

Sharp says: “I love libraries. Their generosity of spirit and sharing of knowledge is what Earth needs more of right now.”

Last year, Sharp won the Writing for Design category at the Design Week awards. The campaign, based on the word “welcome”, was widely shared across social media.

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