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A visual symphony: rebranding the LSO

A visual symphony: rebranding the LSO
May 8, 2018 esther

It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then, I respond to a piece of graphic design that goes further than simply liking it or appreciating it as successful. Occasionally, a project comes along that is just so divine that my response is much more than an Instagram like or a metaphorical congratulation to the design team. There are some solutions which are so sublime, not just in their execution and aesthetic beauty, but in the brilliance of the idea. Often, we see work that falls one side or the other, but rarely is the brilliance equally matched. I have been asked, but more often than not, it’s an internal conversation; if there was one idea you had come up with, which one would it be…?

In 2017, The Partners rebranded the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and in a pitch-perfect combination of an intelligent idea, aesthetic pleasure and the employment of cutting-edge technology; the result is simply breathtaking. Using motion sensors on a specially engineered baton, the University of Portsmouth worked with The Partners to capture the movements of Sir Simon Rattle. These were then interpreted into sophisticated motion graphics and then working with digital artist Tobias Gremmler to create stunning auditory interpretative illustrations that have a material and sculptural quality. “Through Tobias’ creative interpretation, the cacophony of the Orchestra at full force becomes an explosive maelstrom of wood, brass and strings. In quiet and smouldering moments, the LSO string section conjures towers of smoke, and the sweeping gestures of Rattle are rendered in wires reminiscent of the strings on the instruments themselves.” LSO Identity Explanation

From there, a custom typeface was developed to express the sharp, but flowing movement of the baton as interrupts the static typography. These illustrations, typeforms and photographs combine to produce perhaps one of the most cohesive and confident brand reinventions that I have seen. So, this is the one. This is the idea, solution and realization that I would have most liked to be a part of. Indicative of the creativity and graphic articulation that is so synonymous with The Partners, and a year on I still have an emotional and visceral response to its brilliance.



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