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London Design Festival 2020 to go ahead in part-physical-part-virtual format

London Design Festival 2020 set to go ahead in September but expects "very little international travel"

This year's London Design Festival will go ahead as scheduled in September, but with a more local focus and greater online activity in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers said there was an "overwhelming consensus" among event partners, designers and the mayor's office to go ahead with the 2020 edition of LDF, which will take place from 12 to 20 September.

London Design Festival 2020 to go ahead in part-physical-part-virtual format
This year's LDF features an updated visual identity designed by Pentagram

"It is important the design community stands together in these challenging times," read a statement published by LDF co-founders John Sorrell and Ben Evans.

"We want to put the spotlight on the brilliance of London's design scene at a time when it needs to be promoted more than ever."

Many designers and brands, however, are still deciding on how they will be participating, if at all. "We appreciate that some won't be able to decide until near to the festival dates, so we are being as flexible as possible with our deadlines," continued the founders.

London Design Festival organisers did not give details of the programme but said they expected events with a local focus and "very little, if any, international travel".

"It will be a festival for Londoners with a strong focus on the local," said the founders. "We are adapting the festival accordingly. Like everyone, we are planning greater online activity and are exploring new formats to present design and promote discussion."

"London now has the biggest creative economy of any city in the world and our design reputation is renowned," said Sorrell and Evans. "Showcasing is a key part of the sector and the platform the festival offers is an opportunity to say something."

Pentagram updates LDF identity

Creative agency Pentagram, which has been responsible for designing the visual identity for LDF since 2007, has developed a fresh branding for this year's edition that would show London being "metaphorically filled with design".

"Red is the colour of London; the buses, the phone boxes and the pillar boxes," said Pentagram partner Dominic Lippa. "The brief was just to make it impactful, and in a way, that's never changed each year."

London Design Festival 2020 to go ahead in part-physical-part-virtual format
The exact format of LDF has not yet been announced

"We developed the idea of filling any space we're promoting with words and letters which relate to the festival, such as 'LDF', 'London', 'design', 'festival' and '2020'," he added.

"We adapted the typography to reduce the negative space in order to completely full the page or screen."

September design events impacted

LDF's announcement comes as other autumn design events cancel their plans, scale down or switch to all-digital versions.

Paris interiors show Maison&Objet will take place online only this September while October's Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk has been postponed to 2021. The rescheduled Light + Building fair in Frankfurt, which was postponed from February to September, has been cancelled and will next take place in 2022.

London Design Biennale and London Design Fair, which were both due to take place alongside London Design Festival, have both been postponed. Art Basel and Design Miami/Basel, both initially pushed from June to September, have been cancelled.

Dutch Design Week announced recently that this year's event will go ahead in October, but with the major public events replaced with digital versions. A series of modest physical events will include pre-planned visits to designers' studios in Eindhoven.

Finland's Habitate fair has been postponed from September to 25 to 29 November. Events still scheduled for September include Design China Beijing and Helsinki Design Week. For an up-to-date guide to events taking place this year, visit Dezeen Events Guide.