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Town Hall Seattle Writers Festival

Brand Identity & Environmental Design

Town Hall Seattle is a nonprofit organization that maintains a landmark historic building—as well as marketing and production infrastructure—for shared community use. Turnstyle was enlisted to create the event identity for their inaugural writers festival that pays tribute to the written word. Volume I: Humble Beginning was held at Town Hall’s historic building with an extraordinary roster of fiction and non-fiction authors.


Town Hall Seattle Writers Festival


Identity, Print, Environments

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In early 2022, as the nation entered the third-booster phase of the coronavirus pandemic, Seattle’s literary scene was slowly finding its feet again. Town Hall Seattle—with a pre-pandemic track record producing over 250 book events a year, plus strong relationships with national publishers, from Penguin Random House, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster to indies like Haymarket, Seven Stories, and the New Press—hoped to give the emerald city a literary shot in the arm by hosting a writers festival. 

Town Hall Seattle partnered with us to develop an event identity with omnichannel promotional touchpoints and a broad appeal to residents from diverse geographical, racial and economic backgrounds. We developed an event identity that evoked a sense of Seattle’s nerdy love of reading in an engaging, warm, witty, smart and subtly irreverent manner. The solution celebrated the writing process by pairing classical typography with handwritten editing marks to emphasize key information.

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"In some ways the pandemic has been a fertile time to be a reader, but it's not been a very good time to engage in the joy of being together with other people who love reading as much as you do."

 —Weir Harmon, Town Hall Seattle Executive Director

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The event featured nine award-winning authors, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, literary legend Joyce Carol Oates and Leila Mottley, the youngest author to be featured by Oprah’s Book Club, in a roomful of readers for a day and a night of talks, interviews, discussions and signings.

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The festival served as a successful rallying event for a community invested in reading, writing, and the whole ecology of the printed word. The two-day series of engaging interviews concluded with a conversation between two of the funniest women in publishing today—Seattle novelist Maria Semple and humorist Sloane Crosley. The overall festival message is that we can all be writers because we all have stories to tell. It is hoped that the inaugural event’s success will create momentum for subsequent “volumes” with evolving themes on an annual basis.

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"This is a very nerdy city. I think it's time that we came together and had our own ComicCon, PAX West, or Bumbershoot—but for book nerds."

 — Susan Lieu, playwright, performer, activist, author, and Festival Producer

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