KesselsKramer calls on 25 creatives to redesign the Risk of Fire warning sign

As part of London Fire Brigade’s inaugural LDF exhibition, London-based creatives reimagine a piece of enduring graphic design, synonymous with the fire service.

Date
21 September 2022

The Warning: Risk of Fire symbol is unchanging for good reason – immediate familiarity is crucial when it comes to any warning sign. However, that doesn’t mean the design can’t be revisited and celebrated for fulfilling this essential role, something KesselsKramer has facilitated as part of a new LDF exhibition. Held at Shoreditch Fire Station, The Running Towards exhibition is “celebrating the London Fire Brigade (LFB) as an unflinching embodiment of bravery”, says KesselsKramer art director Lauren Coutts. Organised by creative agencies Studio Sutherl& and Tom Sharp alongside KesselsKramer London, the event features an array of graphic explorations, including 25 works reimagining the Warning: Risk of Fire symbol.

KesselsKramer asked 25 London-based creatives to contribute their own take on the symbol. The final pieces offer an eclectic array of personal stories and investigations into the lasting relevance of the warning sign. Franz Lang’s entry, for example, tells the story of her grandma’s cat, who upon seeing a wood-burning kitchen for the first time, fled up a tree, only to be rescued by the fire brigade. Jasmin Sehra offers a typographically led entry to engage viewers and communicate the power of firefighters, while It’s Nice That’s very own Africa Pombo explores the international capability of symbols, recognisable no matter the language you speak.

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Ruby Boddington: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Ruby Boddington / KesselsKramer, 2022)

Other creatives have looked to tactile forms for inspiration, like Rapha art director Ruby Boddington, who mimics the foam used to extinguish fires, or Nicole Chui, who shows the resilience of nature to fire through embroidery. Visitors attending the exhibition will also discover work from Anthony Burrill, who highlights the bravery required to run towards danger shown by firefighters. Elsewhere, Mohammed Samad explores the elements of fire through the lens of activism, in particular the “political fire” that erupted after Altab Ali’s racially motivated murder in London in 1978.

On curating the show, art director and designer Adam Morton-Delaney explains: “When we envisioned the show concept, we never expected to get such an amazing array of artworks. It feels like we’ve curated a show which represents the might of London’s creativity.”

Alongside the warning sign section by KesselsKramer, the exhibition includes creative responses curated by Studio Sutherl& and Tom Sharp. For example, a new typeface inspired by vintage LFB fire engines is on display. The font has been brought to life in a series of posters by several leading design studios, curated by Studio Sutherl&.

The Running Towards will be on display until 24 September as part of LDF 2022; readers can find more details on the line-up of creative responses at the LDF site.

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Franz Lang: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Franz Lang / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Inga Ziemele: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Inga Ziemele / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Africa Pombo: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Africa Pombo / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Africa Pombo: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Africa Pombo / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Katy Wang & Gabriel Greenough: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Katy Wang / Gabriel Greenough / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Harry Bennett: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Harry Bennett / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Harry Bennett: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Harry Bennett / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Anthony Burrill: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Anthony Burrill / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Studio Sutherl&: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Studio Sutherl& / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Sami Kimberley: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Sami Kimberley / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Sami Kimberley: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Sami Kimberley / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Thomas Hedger: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Thomas Hedger / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Paul Davis: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Paul Davis / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Nicole Chui: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Nicole Chui / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Mohammed Sama: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Mohammed Sama / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Mohammed Sama: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Mohammed Sama / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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Jasmin Sehra: Warning: Risk of Fire for The Running Towards (Copyright © Jasmin Sehra / KesselsKramer, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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