The Netherlands has a long and proud tradition of clean and crisp graphic design. It’s very nice, but also very samey. So for the 10th anniversary of the Leiden International Film Festival I thought it would be fun to take a different route.


Movies are a form of escapism. They fill a certain hole in our lives. Something that is missing. This got me to posters for missing pets. If you see one, you read them. They attract your attention exactly because they break every design rule in the book.


I had to force my art director to make something truly amateurish. I made spelling mistakes on purpose. We choose to use Comic Sans voluntarily. The coder had to relearn how to do tables. It wasn’t easy for any of us. But the result was a beautiful mess.


Kudos for the client, who went along with it. And it worked, the teaser posters gathered a lot of attention on social media, making people wonder who was behind the madness? The fun online test spread the message further. All contributing to an increase of 15% in ticket sales, over the record of the year before.


The body copy on the poster read: “Look at the kitty. Look deep into it’s gaze. Even deeper than that, please. Do you recognise yourself? Can you see yourself in the kitty now? Do you raelise that the kitty is not missing, but you? You’re missing something. Yes. Let’s find out what it is?! It’ll be fun!!”