Sydney Film Festival ‘Stories’ posters.

Words aren’t as celebrated as they used to be. Even D&AD are trying to remove the ‘writing for advertising’ section as they presumably can’t find any good enough. So when the Sydney Film Festival wanted some words during Covid last year, I wrote a few and somehow managed to get Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and a whole host of others to read them out. This year they needed some posters – so we made these.

Great words don’t need very much to make them sing – and that’s where a superb typo comes in. There aren’t many superb typos left as the words are in very short supply and they need good ones to work their mysterious, arcane, wicked magic. In this case, fitting the entire poem into a set poster size with absolutely no word spaces and making the whole thing look awesome.

The work is by the legendary Mick Tonello, who learned his craft with masters such as Dave Dye and Trevor Beattie back in the day. These are not traditional ads, they’re a celebration of words and stories. But they’re also a celebration of what typography can do when you don’t have brand guidelines to work with.