M&S archive explorer 2

This is… the M&S Archive Explorer

The challenge

Marks & Spencer have an incredibly rich history and heritage, spanning over 130 years. During that time, their classic yet functional designs have become synonymous with British life and style. We’ve all got an M&S treasure tucked away somewhere!

Back in 1984, the M&S team decided it was time to look back with pride on their history and celebrate it by creating the M&S Company Archive collection. Since then, the collection has grown and grown, and there are now over 70,000 items in the archive. Objects range from clothing to food packaging to oral history recordings, all offering a little piece of the vast and impressive history of M&S.

With so many interesting items in the collection, the M&S archive team were keen to offer a new way for visitors, students and experts to explore the collection’s highlights in more detail. As well as displaying the items, it was also important to share the stories behind each piece.


500 words 2015

This is... how to enter Radio 2's short story competition

Since 2014, we've supported the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show team in the development of their children's writing competition, 500 Words. Through our work on the competition's online submission system, it's been fantastic to play a part in the much loved writing challenge, which asks children under the age of 13 to write a short story in no more than 500 words.

So far, the competition has successfully encouraged thousands of children to get writing, with over 50 million words submitted. Past winners were announced at a swanky celebrity filled event at the Hay Festival for 2014 followed by St James’s Palace last year, with readings of the victorious tales by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch, Sally Hawkins and our personal man-crush, Hugh Bonneville!

2015’s competition closed with a total of 120,421 entries, which was 1,750 more than 2014!


This is… a social campaign we created for NOMA

As NOMA’s digital strategy partner, we were tasked to come up with a creative way to engage local people with all the activity going on in and around Manchester’s new neighbourhood; something that would get the community involved and encourage the public to shape the project.

To help achieve NOMA’s ambitions we asked the public to suggest a name for their new public square by creating a multi-channel campaign and using social media to generate lots of noise around the project.

digital archive

This is... a new digital archive for the American Air Museum

magnetic North's creative director Adam Todd has written an in-depth piece about the design process we applied to the digital archive project we recently collaborated on with American Air Museum. This article explains the thinking behind the design of the American Air Museum digital archive and provides some insight into why we are proud to have been a part of this particular project. 

The digital archive currently deals with over 500,000 entry records with over a million connections between them.