Celebrating and promoting London as the design capital of the world, London Design Festival 2020 is the first major international design event to take place in the capital since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pentagram has designed the Festival’s identity for the fourteenth consecutive year, creating posters, wayfinding and signage, merchandise, digital content and advertising as well as the extensive 142-page printed Festival guide. Working closely with Festival Director Ben Evans CBE and Chairman Sir John Sorrell CBE, the team’s aim was to develop a campaign that would be instantly recognisable, and would reinforce the vital role of the creative industries during this challenging year for the design community.
With very little overseas travel taking place this year, LDF2020 had a strong focus on the local. Visitors could walk between Partner events and happenings in the various ‘Design Districts’ and ‘Design Routes’—these local clusters of design are an increasingly important feature and include Brompton, King’s Cross, Mayfair, Peckham, Shoreditch and Walthamstow. Visitors could also enjoy Landmark Project The Hothouse by Studio Weave at International Quarter London, and a Festival Commission, Unity by Marlene Huissoud, at Coal Drops Yard.
To ensure that wherever they were around the world, as many people as possible could get involved in the Festival this year, online activity was greatly expanded and innovative ways of presenting design and promoting discussion were explored. Pentagram’s Domenic Lippa, Eddie Opara and Paula Scher opened this year’s Global Design Forum with an online transatlantic talk about graphic design’s power to connect people.
As with all previous London Design Festival identities, the signature colour palette of red and white was employed—this is now one of the Festival’s strongest and most recognisable assets. LDF2020’s identity uses a series of expanded letterforms which grow to fill the space available, making us consider our own spaces and the different ways that we now have to fit into them.
“The Festival has always been about the community of design, about designers coming together”, explains Domenic Lippa, LDF’s Design Director since 2007. “Considering recent events, our idea is about reconfiguring the letters, words and numbers into any space we need it to—an infinite amount of solutions. Design is a community, and we need to behave as one.”
Listen to the Pentagram partners’ talk from this year’s Global Design Forum here.