Spot the Case (at our book launch)


by Stephen Eccles, Emily Allbon.
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How many famous law cases can you spot in our book-launch day postcard? Stephen Eccles turns his artistic eye towards an attic full of legal precedents.


To create a fun activity for attendees at a book launch. When planning the launch event for our new book Design in Legal Education, we (Emily Allbon and Amanda Perry-Kessaris) were keen to do something hands-on. We wanted visitors to enjoy wandering around the exhibition, trying things out and chatting to others there.

I (Emily) decided now was the time to have a crack at creating a graphic which incorporated clues which lead to cases. Previously, I’d imagined these being subject focused – so one on each of the core subjects perhaps, but for this general audience it made sense to do a historical cases theme.

Materials and process

I worked with Stephen Eccles on this project. Stephen’s day job is as a joiner – who creates dream interiors for bespoke camper vans at Bobil Vans, based in the South West. However he is also a design addict, who carries out his own projects in graphic design (one of which is designing all the posters for City’s Student Experience Committee). Here are some examples of his work for us.

As an enthusiastic reader (and English Lit grad) I’ve long admired the Hidden Books competitions run by National Book Tokens – they create illustrations with embedded clues which (unsurprisingly) lead to book titles. It’s a mix of a ‘spotting the clue’ activity and book-related knowledge. Sometimes the illustration is just random images collaged together and sometimes it is an actual scene – so a street scene, a beach, a collection of road signs even. Here's an example from a few years ago.

I’ve always wanted to create my own versions for law but never quite seem to find the time.  I realised it was now or never! At the launch we had different stands so that visitors could get some practice at the different phases of design and learn from the ideas of others too.

Here are some photos of the event!

I came up with a list of potential cases which were both well-known and had the capacity to be summed up visually. I also came up with some which were just impossible to encapsulate in an image to test him! To his credit, he always gave it a good go but had to admit defeat on a couple. Stephen also did some research of his own to add some to the list. The final version had ten cases incorporated into the main image.

Stephen came up with the idea of a loft as the main image, and the clues would be found in the abandoned items collecting dust up there. The clues vary in difficulty!

As a non-legal person I can still give an outline of each individual case just by remembering the graphic I created.

Stephen Eccles, Illustrator

Here are Stephen's thoughts on the project:

The postcards were a really fun project and one I was excited to be part of. We chose a selection of famous/influential cases with various degrees of difficulty. I included a few easy ones so that everyone had a chance of getting one right and a few obscure cases to help spark discussion and collaboration.

The hardest part was trying to create 10 clues to well known legal cases that would work well as a collection and not look out of place lying around in an attic!

It would be fascinating to see how something similar could work as a revision aid, as a non-legal person I can still give an outline of each individual case just by remembering the graphic I created.

Visitors to our book launch were really good sports about participating in all of the activities going on, but the ‘Spot the case’ postcards were a definite winner with everyone giving it a go. Some people worked as teams, others were competitive individually. It really seemed to capture people’s imagination and fire up their desire to complete the ten clues. Although worth noting that no-one managed it!  I can definitely see this working on a subject basis as a fun way to revise a topic, and am hoping to get some of my colleagues in the Law School on board. Watch this space for more examples later…


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