DESIGN MIAMI | The First Ten Years

An ever-evolving and expressive brand identity that continues to capture the zeitgeist for world’s most prolific design fair.

Design Miami, partner show to Art Basel, presents the very best international modern and contemporary design with a strong curatorial perspective. It brings together the most influential galleries, collectors, dealers, designers, curators and critics from around the world to further current design culture and comment. The event, which takes place annually in both Basel and Miami, operates in a highly charged creative and cultural environment. Since it’s inception in 2005 to today, Made Thought’s job is to reinvent the visual story each season, with an exciting hook that captures the esoteric audiences imagination. Our aim is to constantly twist known conventions to produce something unexpected and remarkable.

The identity uses a simple ‘divide line’ which is the defining element of the identity. This line represents the geographic duality of the show’s locations (Design Miami ‘in’ Basel) and manifests itself both graphically and physically through all facets of the brand.
For the first advertising campaign we applied the line into each location. This reinforced the idea of Design Miami moving to a new city as well as creating an iconic interpretation of the brand.
With documents such as Sponsor collateral, where content needs to be updated frequently, we employ the slash as a binding mechanism.
For the first five shows, we needed to establish Design Miami’s visual direction. We decided to demonstrate our authority of the brand with a consistent treatment across all the catalogue covers. We simply wrapped the return fold of the inside cover back through a 60 degree slit, once again, reinforcing the brand icon.
For the 2008 campaign, the slash manifested itself onto a physical billboard that was placed into iconic locations around the host city.
As with all our work for Design Miami, we strive to reinvent the visual icon in new ways. The brand icon has been portrayed in paint strokes, tearing, cutting and more graphic articulations.
Our scope of work also involves the design of the key exhibition areas within the fair. For Design Miami/ Basel (June 2008) we simply cut-away sections of the existing exhibition structures, infecting them with our brand/event colour.
As part of Design Miami’s ongoing relationship with fashion brand Fendi, we created specific invitations for their accompanying events at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

Laser etched surface.

Our remit for every show is to create a signage concept that visually unifies the entire event through both external and internal way finding and graphics.
Each year in Miami, the event is held in an architecturally commissioned structure. For the Design Miami (December 2010) way finding signage, our aim was to create an obvious visual link and extension of the tent aesthetic. Shrink-wrapping seemed like an ideal and exciting mechanism as both the colour and material tied-in perfectly with the structure. By wrapping iconic pieces of furniture (tables, chairs, sideboards, sofas, floor standing lamps) we not only created interesting sculptural compositions, but mirrored the show’s temporary home for the furniture galleries exhibiting within it.
Special invitations dipped in liquid latex to create a unique design reflecting the sixty degree angle to represent the Design Miami brand mark.
For their ‘Design Vertigo’ exhibition, we developed a repeat graphic using the iconic DM slash to create a visual interpretation of the sensation of ‘vertigo’.
Using building façades throughout the design district as ready-made architectural signs, promoting various events and way-finding throughout the show.
Marking the tenth anniversary of the fair with a roman numeral for ten.