We were delighted to be asked to create the Brand and Identity for Present!; a week long exhibition that brought together designers from across the world with the end goal of raising enough funds to build a 12-child home for street kids in India. The exhibition took place at The Proud Archivist as part of the London Design Festival programme last year and was a huge success. Thanks to everybody involved!
India is a beautiful, bold country full of rich culture, variety and colour. It’s a place you certainly don’t forget in a hurry and a place that is as intense as anywhere in the world. Luke and Elena (aka. Equals) visited India in 2014 and came back with unforgettable memories that will stay with them for a long time. Unfortunately what also stayed with them was the story of a railway child they met along the way. This same child was the key source of inspiration for Present! and the idea of design for good.
Equals wanted to make a difference and with both Luke and El working within design and PR, the two felt a purpose to focus on creating a platform for design for good that would make the design community come together and raise money towards the poverty in India. When Luka and El approached us with the idea, we were similarly as passionate to create a platform for equality and common good. While India is one of the most prosperous and fastest growing countries and economies in the world, poverty is also sadly equally as prevalent. India is estimated to have a third of the world's poor. We wanted to help make a difference in any which way we could by utilising the skills we had to facilitate a positive contribution.
The culmination of this dialogue was the creation of Equals – a not-for-profit project ran by Luke and Elena that looks to raise money through design to help those less fortunate. We were lucky enough to collaborate with Equals on creating Present!; A design exhibition as part of London Design Festival with over 60 designers from around the world coming together for a greater cause.
We had support and sponsors from a wide variety of sources, and to help us over the finish line we needed a little help in the form of crowdfunding. We worked with our friends over at Hungry Sandwich Club to help bring the story of Present! to life in the form of a campaign video. Thankfully the funding target was gained and the full potential of the exhibition could be a reality. You can read more about the Present! Kickstarter campaign here.
It was important for us to create a cohesive brand identity for the exhibition. The subject of India was a huge luxury and a perfect opportunity to create something bold, colourful and intense, just like the country itself. The visual identity for Present! utilised a display typeface that is condensed, bold and has hand rendered qualities. This was paired with a colour palette that references Indian sign painting and the milky hues of Jaipur.
Our messaging style referenced being in the streets of India and hearing the many voices shouting over each other whilst receiving visual messages and signals from all around you. It was important for us to create an event that referenced this and was positive in tone, whilst still not forgetting the reason why we were there, to raise money and make a difference to the lives of street kids in India. We did this by creating a messaging style that was positive and loose, whilst still containing the more serious call to action.
One of the most eye-opening and positive things about Present! was how the design community came together for a greater cause and was so open to help in ways that went beyond just a design submission. We exhibited 65 submissions from 65 designers located from over 16 countries around the world. A key theme throughout the exhibition was equality and a level platform – to emphasise this, we had globally renowned agencies exhibiting next to young designers just starting their design career. All designers created a poster in response to a set of specific briefs.
Elements of the exhibition were interactive and generated user-created content. An example of this is where we printed off a charity video by Angel House frame by frame, and encouraged exhibition guests to write and draw on the frames. Once the exhibition was complete, we scanned the frames back in and re-animated them for post-event promotion and social media.
We held design talks on the day following the opening of the exhibition featuring insightful talks by Craig Oldham, Stuart Watson of Design Studio London, Murray Sommerville and Malika Favre. The topics of the talks ranged from design in a global culture, to the growth of India as a global economy and a growing hub for the creative industries. Stuart Watson also talked about working alongside Present! on Design Studio's own project – Conversations with India.
Luke and Elena of Equals are travelling Asia as we speak and have recently had the chance to visit India again to see the results that Present! has had on the small underprivileged communities, helping to improve the facilities that are available to Street Kids. This wouldn’t have been possible without the design community and all who took the time to advise, collaborate, house, attend and submit to the week long event.
A big Thank You to everyone involved from all of us at Alphabet!
Printing Sponsor: Pressision
Paper Sponsor: Fedrigoni
Venue: The Proud Archivist
Special Thank You: Pressision, Hungry Sandwich Club, Wetransfer, Fedrigoni, Analogue, Dot Laser, Hire an Illustrator, Represent, Stuart Watson, Craig Oldham, Malika Favre, Murray Sommerville and The London Design Festival.
&Larry (Singapore), Aaron Vinton (USA), Alphabet (UK), Analogue (UK), Asylum (Singapore), Attak (Netherlands), Bedow (Sweden), Ben The Illustrator (UK), Bleed (Norway), Bravo (Singapore), Bread Collective (UK), Brody Associates (UK), Build (UK), Casper Heijkenskjold (Denmark), Chantal Chya Hsu (Taiwan), Chistopher Burnett (UK), Craig Oldham (UK), Demian Conrad (Switzerland), Design by Toko (Australia), Design Studio London (UK), Dominic Kesterton (UK), DR.ME (UK), DU.ST (UK), Estudio Primo (Spain), Eve Warren (UK), GBH (UK), George Simin (UK), Giulia Garbin (UK), Hague + Hague (UK), Heydays (Norway), HORT (Germany), Hungry Sandwich Club (UK), James Clapham (UK), James Reid (UK), Jay Cover (UK), Joe Leadbetter (UK), Jon Bland (UK), Joseph Veazey (USA), Luke O'Brien (UK), Lundgren + Lindqvist (Sweden), Made by Tung (Canada), Malika Favre (France), Marcel Hausler (Germany), Monikers (USA), Mucho (USA), Murray Somerville (UK), Oh Yeah Studio (Norway), Only (UK), Orlando Lloyd (UK), Raw (UK), Roots (Singapore), Sam Barclay (UK), Sam Cook (UK), Sarah Boris (UK), Sarp Sozdinler (Turkey), Side by Side (UK), Sneaky Raccoon (UK), Spin (UK), Tom Love (UK), Tsto (Finland), Two Times Elliott (UK), Wade Jeffree (Australia), The Work Bench (Singapore), Yoni Alter (UK) & Zipeng Zhu (USA).