Project Literacy

Awareness Campaign


Idris Elba talking about Sam Pierpoint's paper city

Project Literacy is a global campaign founded by Pearson that brings together individuals and organisations from across the globe to tackle the problem of illiteracy, an issue that affects over 750 million people worldwide. The project aims to ensure that by 2030 no child will be born at the risk of poor literacy.

As part of the project’s awareness campaign, we were asked to create a visual representation of a city where low literacy impacts the local population. The brief was to create a ‘dramatization of a real world issue’, to be used in a new campaign fronted by actor Idris Elba. Our dual-sided paper city – ‘IlliteraCity’ and ‘LiteraCity’- creates an imaginative yet relatable background to share information about the social problems that stem from poor literacy, an issue that affects both developing and developed countries.

With the objective to bring visibility to an ‘invisible problem’, paper was placed at the heart of this campaign; it’s a powerful metaphor for literacy and is the material on which words come to life.

Sam Pierpoint sitting at the desk in studio working on paper city sculpture

With this theme guiding our creative, we constructed a 3D, double-sided paper city – on one side is ‘IlliteraCity’, a deprived landscape where problems associated with low literacy impact all areas of the community; our alternative ‘LiteraCity’ shows how communities are transformed when literacy rates are

Our sculpture was then transformed into an interactive digital asset; by clicking on different areas of the city, users can find out how low literacy impacts on areas such as health, poverty and civic rights. You can visit IlliteraCity and find out more about Project Literacy here.

Visit my blog page to find out more about the creative processes involved in this

Flower shop paper building
Adding a paper flower to the Project Literacy sculpture
  • Software: Adobe illustrator, Silhouette Studio
  • Materials: GF Smith FSC certified Colorplan paper, all paper is 100% recyclable.
  • Kit: Sony a7r mark 2

Client: Pearson
Commissioner: Webber Shandwick
Paper Artist: Sam Pierpoint
Photography and interactive: Packshot factory

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