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Leaflet - Notes from the London Philharmonic
  • Notes from the London Philharmonic
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Enlarge image

Notes from the London Philharmonic

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1990 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    London Philharmonic Orchestra (producer)
    Rufus Leonard Design Consultants (consultants)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the consultants

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case EDUC, shelf 10C

This is a leaflet published in 1990 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra had recently commissioned a new corporate identity from Rufus Leonard Design Consultants. The brief was to design a ‘mark’, a combination of a ‘symbol’ and ‘logotype’ (an image and a caption), to be printed on all the orchestra’s communication material. This leaflet shows the chosen mark, based on a conductor with batons, or music dancing between outstretched arms. The orchestra has since simplified its mark to a single blue star, suggesting that, when they update their identity, organisations can benefit from retaining something of their existing mark in order to be recognised.

Physical description

A single sheet concertina-folded eight times to form a leaflet, printed with textual information and images relating to the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1990 (made)


London Philharmonic Orchestra (producer)
Rufus Leonard Design Consultants (consultants)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper

Marks and inscriptions

Corporate Identity by David Vevers, Client Director, Wolff Olins. In order to be effective every organisation needs a clear sense of purpose which people within it understand. They also need a strong sense of belonging. Purpose and belonging are the two facets of identity. Every personality, its strengths and its weaknesses. This is as true of the modern symphony orchestra as it has been of any other institution in history. The identity of an orchestra must be so clear that it becomes the yardstick against which its performance, behaviour and actions are measured. This means that identity cannot simply be a slogan, a collection of phrases: it must be visible, tangible and all embracing. Everything that the orchestra does must be an affirmation of its identity. Communication material, from advertising to concert programmes, must have a consistent quality and character that accurately and honestly reflect the whole organisation and its aims. All these are palpable, they are visible, they are designed - and that is why design is such a significant component in an organisation's identity. When companies lose sight of their individuality, their real purpose and strengths, they get deflected - often through peer pressure - into making mistakes. They make inappropriate decisions, diversify into blind alleys, make or offer inferior copies of other organisation's products or services. That is why identity is important. An orchestra's identity is expressed in the name, symbol, logo and colours which it uses to distinguish itself. At one level, these serve the same purpose as religious symbolism, chivalric heraldry or national flags as symbols: they encapsulate and make vivid a collective sense of belonging and purpose. At another level, they represent consistent standards of quality and therefore encourage consumer loyalty. Sometimes names and symbols have to be created. Neil Svensen and Darrel Worthington have done just that for the London Philharmonic. The symbol they have devised gives the impression of the conductor's arms moving, and to me, at least, the star represents the magic that the conductor and the orchestra create. It is a contemporary symbol and one which clearly distinguishes the London Philharmonic from other orchestras. Over time it will increasingly become recognised as the orchestra's mark or symbol, and, given sufficient exposure, will eventually no longer need the words 'The London Philharmonic' for it to be recognised and understood.
Text printed inside the leaflet; Printing; Ink; Vevers, David

Comments by Neil Svensen, Darrel Worthington, Designers. New identities are almost always controversial and are judged predominantly on the way the mark and logotype look. Inevitably the new London Philharmonic mark will be liked by some and disliked by others, however the main thing is that with conviction of use the new mark will soon establish itself as a memorable visual signature. The new identity is not only expressed in the mark but encompasses al the material the orchestra produces. We are at present developing a visual style for the orchestra's literature, the result of which you will see over the coming months. Both the orchestra and ourselves are pleased with the result and hope that you will be too.
Text printed inside the leaflet; Printing; Ink; Rufus Leonard


Height: 29.8 cm, Width: 10.5 cm folded, Width: 83.9 cm unfolded

Descriptive line

Leaflet entitled 'Notes from the London Philharmonic' with mark designed by Rufus Leonard Design Consultants, 1990


Printing ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Graphic Design; Branding; Corporate identity; Orchestra




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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