Art, design
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London Design Biennale creative campaign

For the second consecutive edition of London Design Biennale, the Domenic Lippa team at Pentagram has created the visual identity and promotional materials. As with the previous identity, a restricted colour palette of orange, black and white is used.

In response to the theme of Emotional States and taking inspiration from Charles Darwin’s seven universal emotions, Pentagram created and commissioned a series of arresting masks handmade by Wakefield-based paper artist Andy Singleton and photographed by London-based John Ross.

In 1872, Darwin published ‘The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals’, in which he argued that all humans, and even other animals, show a shared universal range of emotions through remarkably similar behaviours. Today many psychologists agree with Darwin that certain emotions are universal to all humans, regardless of culture: anger, fear, surprise, disgust, joy, sadness and contempt.

While a significant amount of research supports the notion that these emotions
manifest consistently across cultures, Pentagram’s concept moves away from the
literal representations and uses abstract masks – rather than people or faces – to
interpret and express the Biennale’s theme.

A universal phenomenon that spans centuries, masks have been used to interpret
and illustrate the beautiful, the grotesque, the sublime – and everything else in
between. Pentagram’s aim was to create a series of masks that could subtly, yet
coherently, communicate this diverse range of emotional states.

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