Balancing act: 100% Design’s new look

London’s annual design trade event, 100% Design, is under new ownership and has commissioned a new identity. However, when studios Thomas.Matthews and also Form pitched similar concepts, owners Media 10 asked both teams to join forces…

London’s annual design trade event, 100% Design, is under new ownership and has commissioned a new identity. However, when studios Thomas.Matthews and also Form pitched similar concepts, owners Media 10 asked both teams to join forces…

“In our original presentation to the 100% team, both ourselves and Thomas.Matthews coincidentally showed a similar concept around the theme of balance,” explains Form’s Paula Benson. “Media Ten saw strengths in both our ideas asked us to collaborate on the project,” she continues.

“Our role at Form has been to design and create the lead imagery/messaging for the marketing communications, which will then in turn feed into the work Thomas.Mathews are creating for the show itself.”

With Thomas.Matthews working on various aspects of the enormous exhibition’s design (last year’s event, held at Earl’s Court, saw over 25,000 visitors over four days), Form commissioned photographer Sara Morris and stylist Sandy Suffield to create the carefully balanced arrangements of objects that appear in the new posters for the event planned for September this year.

“We’ve created a set of bold images which capture the scale, variety and diversity of the show in a friendly but quirky way,” says Benson of the work which was all shot in-camera. “Despite all the hard work and head-scratching to make the stacks work, the result is grand with a hint of cheekiness. We wanted to avoid cold, stark product shots so introduced a new colourful palette which is reflected in the photographs and which will be incorporated across the whole marketing and on-site expression.”

The images created will appear in various aspects of the campaign in print, online and in printed event programmes. “Our approach to the copy and typography as to simplify everything to create a quietly confident message,” Benson continues, “avoiding the long descriptive paragraphs and clumsy straplines often prevalent in event and exhibition promotion.”

100% Design will take place at Earls Court in London from 18-21 September. More info at

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