Designing for landmark events

This week has seen the unveiling of a glut of Titanic-related design projects, ahead of the centenary of the liner’s sinking on 15 April.


Anniversaries, jubilees and other set-piece events provide designers with an opportunity to redefine and reappraise well-known events and use them in different ways.

Hence, for example, Titanic Belfast – with work from Eric Kuhne & Associates and Event Communications – providing a boost to tourism in Northern Ireland and the city where the Titanic was built, and moving the focus away from Southampton, where it launched.

Also see the research that went into Team Publishing’s Titanic stamps, which aim to emphasise the positive aspects of the Titanic – a world-class example of design and engineering – rather than the tragedy of its sinking.

Titanic Belfast, by Eric Kuhne and Associates and Event Communications
Titanic Belfast, by Eric Kuhne & Associates and Event Communications

The Titanic centenary is just one of a number of landmark events in the UK throughout 2012. Some – the London Olympics, Euro 2012 – are the famous maxiquadrennials highlighted by WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell as being so beneficial to the creative industries and the economy as a whole while some – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – come round even less frequently.

Events such as this represent great opportunities for designers, but also great challenges – how do you create something new and worthwhile and provide a fresh angle on a well-told story?

Titanic stamps, by Team Publishing
Titanic stamps, by Team Publishing

With the well-known corportate restrictions on the Olympics and other events this is likely to be even more challenging.

The Titanic centenary has led to some innovative, engaging and novel designs – let’s hope that the rest of this year’s set-piece events do too.

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