A Practice for Everyday Life has developed the identity for the American Hardwood Export Council’s London Design Festival project Legacy. The project involves new typography, a publication and digital assets for Legacy, inspired by “the notion of lasting connections, creating a commonality through time, and passing ideas, skills and meaningful objects from one person to another,” the studio tells It’s Nice That.
Rather than commissioning a temporary installation as it has done in past years, for 2019 AHEC and LDF chairman Sir John Sorrell invited the heads of cultural institutions around London to provide a brief for a piece of furniture needed at their organisation. Leading designers – including Tomoko Azumi, Sebastian Cox, Max Lamb and Martino Gamper – then set about answering the briefs, creating objects in American red oak that will be permanently installed in places like The Young Vic, The Royal Opera House, the Science Museum and the V&A.
For the identity, APFEL created bespoke typography featuring letters created using just two elements, a straight line and a curved line, “representing the relationship between the two voices within each of the Legacy projects: the commissioner and designer,” says a spokesperson from the studio. In two line weights and colours (the green inspired by the colour of American red oak leaves in summer), the letters are stepped to fill the space and highlight the theme of construction. Elsewhere the identity uses Banana Grotesk by Monkey Type. “We feel it was a great fit for the project as the round wide letterforms sit really well with the geometric title typography, and the quirky irregularities such as the over extended end of the lower case a, give the books layout a warm, storytelling quality,” says APFEL.
The studio was also commissioned to create a publication that celebrated the craft of the makers and designers involved. Bringing in Petr Krejci to photograph the creatives both on location and in their studio, the book is a hardback Swiss-bound publication, featuring debossing and uncoated textured paper – “a reference to the sensation of wood to touch.” APFEL continues, “It was important the production of the final publication felt well considered and tactile.”
The pieces of furniture will be on show at the Victoria & Albert Museum alongside APFEL’s publication during London Design Festival, which runs from 14-22 September.