Taking influence from the "uniqueness of London's unlikely urban beauty", this year's identity is designed to create a feeling of immediacy and scale. Real, manufactured signs were commissioned and handmade by a bespoke sign maker – a first for Pentagram.
"The festival's identity, which will be physically produced for the event, expresses neon's playfulness as well as its architectural and 3D qualities," Lippa told Dezeen. "This year we have based the entire identity around imagery, as opposed to our previous graphic or typographic approach."
As with previous years, the identity follows a largely restricted colour palette of red and white. This is to keep consistency with the festival's branding over the years, and to evoke a sense of directness and urgency aimed at reflecting London's feeling.
Pentagram worked with photographer John Ross to create imagery of the signs, capturing the neon tubes at a variety of angles. Zoomed-in pictures form more abstract backdrops for text and information, while zoomed-out photos show the logo as a whole.
"We really attempted to stretch the legibility of the sign — exploring various shapes, angles and expressions — with the aim of conveying the festival's commitment to approaching design from unique directions," Lippa said.
"I have known and worked with John for over 35 years and apart from him being a friend," he continued, "I think he's one of the best photographers in London and totally understood what we were after and stretched the legibility of the sign to the point the image becomes sculptural."
The identity for the festival will be applied to promotional materials, including the official guide, posters, signage, merchandise and advertising. Pentagram is one of the world's largest graphics and branding agencies, which was set up in London in 1972 and now has offices across the globe.
Recent projects by its various arms and partners include an album cover for The National, the branding for the School of Architecture at Taliesin, and a visual identity for an organisation lobbying against "tampon tax".
London Design Festival takes place 16 to 24 September 2017 across the city. Among the installations to visit during the week are an inflatable castle behind Liverpool Street Station by Camille Walala and a colourful hall of light at the V&A museum by Flynn Talbot.