London Philharmonic Orchestra

The London Philharmonic Orchestra are the key performers at the Southbank Centre’s year-long chronological festival of the 20th Century, The Rest is Noise.

To enhance their usual marketing materials, the LPO commissioned us to produce four papers, published throughout the year, each capturing the essence of a quarter of the 20th Century.


The street team handed out papers in period dress

We decided to show how one newspaper (that we called The Centurion) might be updated throughout the Century. The paper had to reflect changing tastes and styles, and be an interesting read, packed with articles and stories all about the concerts and the fascinating stories behind them.

Our main design challenge was to create four papers that would feel appropriate to each period but would still be appealing to a modern audience. We worked hard to create a bespoke design for each, whilst retaining a core look and feel.

Issue one was the most challenging; papers of the early 20th Century would have looked very dense with no pictures. So we had to strike a careful balance between authenticity and visual appeal.

This project is a designer’s dream so I am really pleased that the whole studio has been involved. I’m particularly pleased with the designs of each masthead – I think they really show how design evolved through the 20th Century.

For issue two we found a wide choice of striking imagery. Our main challenge was being sensitive to the subject and avoiding sensationalism.

Issue three shows a progression to full colour. The challenge was to make it feel old-fashioned and a little clumsy (but not badly designed).

For the final edition, we brought the paper up to date with all of the visual cues and modern styling employed by papers like The Guardian.

We had some tricky moments in the studio, doing picture research, as younger members of the team didn’t know what a Walkman was or what or a cassette tape looks like.

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