Celebrating one of our most prolific partnerships and the ever-evolving brand identity of the world’s foremost design fair
Since its inception in 2005, Design Miami/ has become a highlight of the cultural calendar. Bi-annually 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 fair is dedicated to the elevation and celebration of design, with the goal of transforming not only the way design is bought and sold but also how it’s understood and discussed within the wider cultural landscape. Our job is to reinvent the visual story each season, with an exciting hook that captures the imagination.
The defining element of the identity is a simple ‘divide line’. A clean but crucial element, this line represents the geographic duality of the show’s locations. Manifesting itself both graphically and physically through all facets of the brand, it has allowed the identity to evolve and elaborate each year as we consistently strive to reinvent the brand in new ways. The brand icon has been portrayed in paint strokes, tearing, cutting and more graphic articulations.
This year's approach evokes "Expertise" through the eye of the master curator. Using the objects, collectibles and iconic pieces showcased within the fair as the forefront of the design, each composition has been carefully curated using pairings that create tension between the objects. A monotone colour pairing combined with these artful compositions conveys expertise to its truest form, a way of seeing and deep understanding informed by years of mastering a field.
"The identity for the 2023 Basel fair took the brand back to its essence—their expertise in the curation of each fair and each object on display. This affinity for objects, their relationship with one another and the collective story that they tell, was expressed through bringing together the world's best and most intriguing designs and objects into one space. Through the creation of highly deliberate compositions, curating objects in bold and iconic ways, we elevate the brand's role as a fair and the pieces within." – Alistair Webb, Creative Director
INVITES AND CATALOGUES
Each event is accompanied with invitations and a catalogue that showcases the galleries and designers exhibiting at the fair. For the first five shows, we needed to establish Design Miami’s new brand 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 subsequent exhibitions, we have incorporated the specific articulation of each show into the design of the catalogue covers.
“We are in the fortunate position to be able to create communications which need to speak to a highly visually literate and design aware audience — this allows us to be fairly esoteric and playful with the brand.”
Paul Austin, Co-Founder, Made Thought
Be it in Miami, Basel or Paris, we bring the unique fair to life each year. This includes transposing the identity to a range of collateral and merchandise, which we strive to do in surprising ways.
For the wayfinding signage in December 2010, 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.
We’ve collaborated with amazing artists over the years, including the French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan and the interior design company Pierre Frey. With Pierre Frey, we reimagined one of their signature wallpaper designs across digital platforms, printed collateral and merchandise.