British Library


Bespoke retail products for the 'Terror & Wonder - The Gothic Imagination' exhibition

When I had my first meeting with the Buyer at the British Library, to discuss a range of products for this exhibition, I was told the brief was to come up with ideas that reflected our enduring fascination with the mysterious, the terrifying and the macabre. I was petrified!

Being the perfect partner (in crime) to celebrate tales of fear, blood, gore and darkness, I soon got over my fear and had a ball with the theme, designing a total of 26 different products all blessed with my trademark irony and humour. I developed them around two iconic stories; 'Dracula' and 'Jekyll and Hyde'

The 'Dracula' products included a coffin notebook to write your ‘Dead Good Notes’ in; a stunning purple silk garlic print scarf to string around your neck and ward off those pesky vampires; a decadent satin eyemask that seductively requests ‘Wake me up when it’s dark’; a ‘Steak’ through the heart plate; a 'Slaughtered' shot glass and some bloody great acrylic laser cut jewellery. A suitably blood-thirsty line of heart motif plates and tote bags became best-sellers.

The 'Jekyll and Hyde' products played darkly with the idea of split personality. In a striking monochrome palette there is a double-ended pencil, a double-sided tote bag, oyster card holder, T-shirt and lightning flash acrylic jewellery all of which give you the choice to express to (and warn!) the world if you’re having a Jekyll or a Hyde day...

Terror and Wonder presents an intriguing glimpse of a fascinating and mysterious world, and we like to think our products offered the chance for visitors to take a piece of that world home with them. The ranges were carefully conceived with consideration for a broad range of price points to appeal to all of the library's diverse customer base from famous authors to schoolchildren, vampires and werewolves. 

Now, lets go and get slaughtered!