Rebrand of New York’s big furniture fair is inspired by the grid of the city

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As it celebrates its 35th anniversary, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) has a new identity created in partnership with forceMAJEURE. We explore the thinking behind the designs.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is North America’s leading global platform for contemporary furnishing design. Emphasising original and sustainable design, the show presents exhibitors of furniture, lighting, seating, carpet and flooring, wall coverings, materials, kitchens and baths to an audience of architects, interior designers, retailers, distributors, developers, and press.

Now, the Fair, which will be held in New York from 19-21 May, has unveiled a new campaign designed to highlight its marketing evolution under the direction of Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat.

The strategy includes solidifying ICFF’s role as a business accelerator, transforming the brand into a 365-day-a-year platform, and clarifying its objective of being at the centre of design culture, community and commerce.

To translate this strategy into visual form, the organisers looked to award-winning creative agency forceMAJEURE to develop a new brand identity.

The brief

“We wanted to shift away from a more corporate identity to mark a new chapter for ICFF,” says Odile. “By reimagining the brand’s core, we are unveiling a fresh look, positioning the show as the leading North American contemporary design fair at the forefront of the industry.

“Our goal is to inspire, engage, and support design companies and enable success,” she continues. “This direction affirms our commitment to design excellence beyond the show and infuses an energy and creativity that speaks to emerging audiences.”

With its dramatic art direction and eye-catching creativity, the campaign incorporates a unique approach for the brand, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2024.

Visual design

The rebrand has been engineered to reflect the spirit and vitality of New York City. A grid system underpins the visual language, much like building blocks, allowing new elements such as colour and images to be added, moved and transformed as desired.

Meanwhile, the distinctive logo, which remains in the previous black and white palette, now comprises a solid, heavy wordmark juxtaposed with a lighter, supportive typeface.

“ICFF needed a visual identity that felt more distinctive and one that could provide the flexibility to amplify the various individual expressions that we support,” explains the forceMAJEURE team. “From brand strategy to logotype, colours, typeface, and navigation, the goal was to make this repositioning function across all mediums, from social media to the website to the show itself.”

In changing the perception of the visual identity, the team redesigned a stark and restrictive logo of a black square and four letters and added colour to represent each distinct ICFF feature with strong identities: yellow for Wanted (forceMAJEURE designed its visual identity), green for Oasis (which focuses on sustainability), and blue for the new Bespoke area (which centres around high-end craftsmanship), with plans to add more in the future. Colour brings a sense of excitement and warmth to a brand that is repositioning itself, injecting it with a newfound energy.

Bird’s eye view

“Our vision for ICFF is highly connected to New York City, its home,” explains the forceMAJEURE team. “The city truly embodies everything the brand communicates. It is bold and universally recognised. It is international. It is a portal to the U.S. market, where dreams are accelerated, and inspiration is plentiful.

“Taking a birds-eye view of the city and its iconic grid, we see large blocks from the avenues of buildings and observe an infinite sense of modularity. The elevated new logo embodies the functional and emotional allure of ICFF, evoking confidence and innovation but also creative possibilities.”

ICFF’s new graphic identity will be implemented across all platforms in the coming weeks. The ICFF will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, on Sunday 19 May (10am-6pm), Monday 20 May (10am-6pm) and Tuesday, 21 May (10am-5pm).

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