Since 2007, creative agency Pentagram have produced a range of identities for each iteration of the Festival - responding to, and anticipating, trends in design and typology. While the Festival's colour theme of white on red has been consistent, Pentagram have adapted each brief to produce distinctive visual identities to ensure that each edition of the Festival stands alone.
Dominic Lippa, of Pentagram, has been involved for the past ten years in the design of the Festival's graphic identity - 'Red is the colour of London; the buses, the phone boxes and the pillar boxes ... the brief was just to make it impactful, and in a way that's never changed each year.'
Taking inspiration from Eames' belief that design is in the details, Pentagram produced its tenth identity for the London Design Festival in 2016.
Holding text for now. Lose yourself in design.
London is a huge and unplanned city where even the most experienced visitors can lose their way. For 2014 Pentagram honoured London’s chaotic nature by challenging visitors to “Lose yourself in the London Design Festival”. This sentiment inspired the maze graphic.
As with Pentagram’s other London Design Festival identities, red and white were the only colours used. Red is particularly important because of its connection with London’s visual architecture, from double decker buses to telephone boxes to the Underground’s Central Line. The maze graphic is a distinct break from the typographic London Design Festival identities of previous years. It invites visitors to explore the festival without an agenda and stumble upon events that they may not have attended otherwise.
For London Design Festival 2013, Pentagram developed a theme titled 'Design is Everywhere', reflecting the fact that design is involved in every aspect of our lives, from doorhandles to cities.
In 2012, London Design Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary. Pentagram produced a visual identity which drew attention to the achievements, and future ambitions, of the Festival.
For the 2011 edition of the Festival, Pentagram responded by producing a visual identity which played with fragments and angles - distorting and disrupting typography to produce an active, and dynamic, visual experience.
In 2010, Pentagram produced a theme which made use - for the first time - of an expressive brushwork style of typography, departing from the cleaner look which had preceded it.
For the 2009 edition of the Festival, Pentagram's identity urged visitors to look at design as a way of making a statement. The graphic identity echoed this, drawing a clear line between design, identity, and expression.
In 2008, the Festival invited visitors to think about - and explore - design from a variety of perspectives and disciplines; from graphic design to interiors, video games, and urban planning.
2007 was the first year in which Pentagram designed the Festival's graphic identity. With 'Painting the Town Red', the agency observed that 'LDF is an opportunity for London to have a voice and a presence. For the first one we did we used a very fractured typeface and built the theme around that'. The fractured theme offered an opportunity to break open design as a diverse and creative practice, where innovation walks hand in hand with iconic designs and materials.