Graphics at the London Design Festival

The London Design Festival opened on Saturday with two days of graphics-themed workshops, talks and installations at the V&A.

The London Design Festival opened on Saturday with two days of graphics-themed workshops, talks and installations at the V&A.

Designer Sarah Hyndman ran drop-in type tasting workshops at the museum’s Sackler Centre on Saturday and Sunday and has curated a collection of words reflecting ‘creative London’. Submissions are on display at the centre until September 19, and Hyndman has published an online newspaper and series of blog posts on the project.

In the museum’s British Galleries section, the Clore Study Area has been transformed into an exhibition showcasing issues 8 to 18 of the Typographic Circle’s Circular Magazine, published by Pentagram partner Domenic Lippa.

The show offers a fascinating look at creating a magazine without commercial constraints and provides an explanation of Lippa’s choice of colour, layout and typefaces for each issue, all of which were designed from scratch with no set theme or style.

Elsewhere in the Sackler Centre, graphic agency have set up a “collaborative publishing”experience, Collate (below) which will be made into a book at the end of the festival. A series of touch screens allow users to select Flickr images with tags that match the theme of each day of the festival (Saturday and Sunday’s theme was graphics).  Users can then create their own layouts and vote for their favourites, and the most popular will be featured in the book alongside essays on creative collaboration by It’s Nice That’s Rob Alderson and journalist Joel Vacheron.

Along the corridor, Moleskin has curated a collection of sketches from more than 70 illustrators and designers, including Noma Bar, Luke Pearson and Hat-Trick’s Jim Sutherland and Gareth Howat. Participants were asked to respond to a series of questions – what they couldn’t live without, what needs improving in their personal or professional life and what they would like to design, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to.

The result is a collection of sketches, photo collages and scribblings demonstrating different artists’ creative processes and artistic styles, from Bar’s monochrome felt-tip drawings to Sutherland and Howat’s annotated post-it notes.

Alongside contributions from professional creatives is a collection of drawings submitted by the public during ‘sketch relays’ held on Saturday and Sunday. In amongst doodles of unicorns and London landmarks was this sketch of ‘designers doing things in London’.

The theme for this year’s identity, designed by Pentagram, is ‘here, there and everywhere’ and the museum features some lovely wayfinding in bold red lettering. The V&A also hosted a series of graphics-related talks and workshops and a lettering workshop encouraging visitors to design a monogram based on type found in the museum.

There’s a greater focus on graphic design this year, and graphics and type related events will be taking place across the capital until September 22: In west London, London Print Studio has curated a collection of contemporary book designs and in Hoxton, design consultancy Baxter & Bailey is staging an exhibition of comic book art, Sequential City. Outline Editions will also launch a new collection of prints at Designjunction on September 18. For details, visit

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