Design London 

2005 — Identity / Exhibition Design / Art Direction

Design London was an exhibition held as part of the Milan Furniture Fair in 2005. Over 70 British product and furniture designers exhibited in an 800m2 space, each of them represented by one of five British organisations. Our aim was to capture the vibrancy of the London design community and to set it apart from the slick commercialism of the Fair.

Electrical circuits were used as visual metaphors to describe the various links between the exhibiting organisations and designers, and as a navigational aid for both the space and the printed material. To create a flexible and fluid system, we commissioned London-based illustrator Marcus James to hand draw the electrical components, connectors and cabling involved. These formed the basis of all the exhibition graphics including a 6 × 4m information wall, A5 information cards for each designer and a 40 page A6 exhibition brochure.

Reinforcing the graphic system, tangled electrical cables cut from colour-coded vinyl created pathways on the floor of the exhibition space between each exhibitor’s plinth and the main hub information desk. The distinctive UK three-pin electrical plug was a key detail in our concept and the main overhead signage was constructed from six-socket extension leads wired together into grids, with dot-matrix text made from plug-in children’s glowlights. We also produced die-cut beermats in the shape of plug sockets for use as flyers.

The exhibition’s structural and spatial elements were designed by Frank.