A Lego outdoor advert arranged on two large square outdoor placements wrapped around a corner of a building. The advert shown on the left is a green Lego dinosaur against a yellow background, and the right hand advert shows a Lego character holding a carrot and a speech bubble that reads 'Fetch!'

Lego’s new design system is inspired by the humble brick

Interbrand and Lego’s in-house agency have overhauled the Lego Group’s design principles and assets, which reference the brand’s System-in-Play framework

The Lego System-in-Play framework, introduced in 1955, means that people can expand their Lego creations with modular pieces manufactured at any point in time. “This means that bricks bought years ago will fit perfectly with bricks bought in the future,” said Axel Thomsen, who worked there in the 1950s. “We will always make sure that all bricks – from yesterday, today and tomorrow – fit together.”

This production model has inspired the Lego Group’s new design system developed by its in-house agency, Our Lego Agency (OLA) and Interbrand over the course of two years. The new identity responds to the growing need for brand consistency as well as flexibility in terms of how and where design elements are applied, considering the company’s footprint extends well beyond bricks into gaming, movies, education and beyond.

Image shows a large red horizontal poster that reads 'Djinjago' suspended from a wood panelled ceiling

At the heart of the new system is a typeface, Lego Typewell – a riff on the Lego brand name, which is a portmanteau of leg godt, meaning ‘play well’ in English. Developed with the help of Colophon and based on a typeface found in the Lego archives, Typewell is influenced by the geometry of Lego bricks, which have in turn inspired the main colour palette of yellow, red, blue and green.

However, the typeface may be used sparingly in Lego’s new image-centric system. Considering part of Lego’s audience is not yet at reading age, the design teams looked to visual forms of communication for ideas, landing on comic books as a key influence. This manifests in speech bubbles, cells, and ‘action graphics’, which are essentially visual cues to help convey the tone or drama of images.

The team also devised an extensive suite of glyphs based on the shapes found in Lego bricks. These graphics are more crisp and angular than the soft-edged action graphics, and have been designed to be used as framing devices, UI buttons, and extra details in illustrations.

Image shows a row of four outdoor adverts showing Lego's new design system

Elsewhere, the design team created a set of motion design principles inspired by how people use Lego, meaning assets are shown being separated and dropped as well as being built.

“The Lego Group’s archives were a treasure trove of elements that contributed to crafting the final solution – a mix of storytelling pieces that we used to build out a full Lego set just as iconic and timeless as the brick itself,” says Interbrand’s Oliver Maltby. “The playfulness of the new identity reinforces the vision of the Lego brand as a global force for learning through play.”

Side by side image showing coffee being poured into a yellow paper coffee cup labelled with a large dollar sign, and on the right is a photo of a smartphone that is currently playing Lego audio content
Overhead image the hands of two people playing with Lego pieces, and brown and white paper bags numbered '2' and '3' scattered on a table
Image shows a yellow Lego clothing tag attached to an orange T-shirt covered in red maple leaf patterns
Photograph of a poster showing Lego's new design principles positioned on a tabletop next to a lamp

interbrand.com; lego.com