The new San Francisco Design Week identity aims to challenge our perceptions of reality

Brand strategy and design studio Landscape® has created a new identity for San Francisco Design Week (SFDW), connecting the new look with the recently announced theme for this year's festival, Intentional Distortions.

The 2020 event, which takes place from 16-25 June, aims to showcase "the unique intersection of ideas, design, and business," according to the organisers, with events and exhibits taking place across the city.

The new look aims to align with the theme by challenging what's familiar to us, our inherent (possibly unconscious) biases and our concepts of reality using unusual approaches to photography and process. According to Landscape, one of the primary considerations was to ensure the identity would work as a representation of the multiple disciplines that SFDW encompasses, including graphic, industrial, service, product, architectural design and more. "It also needed to be distinctive enough to work across multiple touchpoints. Crucially it needed to pose questions rather than answers – acting as a catalyst for dialogue," the agency adds.

Landscape's identity is centred on photographic imagery of subjects that are usually familiar to people relating to current events, culture, design and places but reworks them to make them new and create unexpected outcomes.

"Sometimes, bending reality is necessary to reveal new ideas," says Adam Weiss, founder and executive creative director at Landscape, says. "For us, this lies at the heart of design today. It plays with perception, intentionally distorting realities to understand what else might exist in a world we find familiar, working to improve our collective and ever-evolving experience on planet Earth."

The campaign will be rolled globally over the coming months across digital and social media platforms initially, before being used across all SFDW 2020 physical communications. A different studio is selected each year to choose the festival's theme, visual identity and campaign. Previous agencies to have worked on it include Character, Manual, and Mucho.


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