A new exhibition exploring, and titled, City Identities runs for the next week as part of The London Festival of Architecture. The show explores the brand identities of global cities and the challenge of distilling these into singular thoughts, by bringing together provocative examples of cities with a story to tell – from London and New York to the Jordanian capital of Amman and a mid-size city in Tennessee.
The gallery space will be transformed into an immersive installation, using supergraphics from cities around the world. The exhibition will explore instances of grassroots typography, Medieval icons made modern and the enduring success of Milton Glaser’s iconic I ♥ New York branding, amongst others.
To coincide with the exhibition, independent design publisher and curators, Place Press will release a booklet of essays and a series of podcasts with interviews that took place during the extensive curatorial research. They include conversations with Milton Glaser, Olympic design historian Markus Osterwalder and Ahmad Humeid, founder of Syntax Design, the studio behind the identity of Amman in Jordan.
Patrick Eley, creative director of Place Press, says:
“As with any brand, the logo is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s always much more to the story. When it comes to creating a graphic system for a city, you are working with a very rich territory. From the people that live there, to the social and economic context, cities are a living creature whose identity is difficult to pin down. Sometimes it is created as part of a structured programme; sometimes it emerges from something that’s already there. That’s the case in the Transport for London brand, a ‘de facto’ identity based on the system that keeps the city moving”.
City Identities runs 22-29 June as part of The London Festival of Architecture at Ground Floor space, London SE1 3HX.