Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River

The Illuminated River

Brand identity

Bright branding for the longest public art commission in the world.

The Illuminated River is a long term art commission on an unprecedented scale: a scheme to light central London’s bridges along the River Thames. We were invited to create a name for the scheme, develop its messaging and to design its brand identity. Working with a close and ever-expanding group of collaborators – including animators Buff Motion, 3D build specialists Standard 8 and arts marketing specialists The Cogency – we applied our visual identity across all print, digital and social communications. The project also saw us creating an Illuminated River exhibition, housed at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre. The exhibition presented the work of shortlisted teams, and incorporated video content, interactive screens and a hands-on visitor response wall. With the announcement of a winning team at a special event in the Tate Modern Switch House and a launch date of 2022, the competition will make a significant aesthetic, cultural and financial impact on the capital: we can’t wait to see the results.

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Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River

“The Illuminated River will give London free art. The project also means that a wasted asset and wasted resource will now be used. The team had thought through how the project is sustainable, how it will be energy efficient and use less energy.”

  • Sadiq Khan,
  • Mayor of London
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River

“This project will bring light, energy, beauty and recreation to the river and at the flick of a switch, transform the city at night.”

  • Hannah Rothschild,
  • Chair of the Illuminated River Foundation
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River

“Baxter & Bailey have been an absolute pleasure to work with on what could have been perceived a tricky brief; to visually express the vision for a project that hasn’t yet been designed. We couldn’t have asked for a more creative, flexible and, most of all, patient team to work with.”

  • Claudia Schmid,
  • Arts & Heritage Executive,
  • The Rothschild Foundation
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River

Impact

Once complete, The Illuminated River will be the longest public art commission in the world at 2.5 miles in length, along 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames. It will be viewed over 200 million times each year.

 

The international competition attracted more than 105 submissions. The winning scheme is led by American light artist Leo Villareal – the artist responsible for lighting San Francisco’s Bay Bridge – and London architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River
Baxter & Bailey - The Illuminated River

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the Director of the Illuminated River Foundation Sarah Gaventa, and Rothschild Foundation team stalwarts Claudia and Simon for allowing us to accompany them on the journey this exciting project has taken, from its earliest days within the curved walls of City Hall. What a privilege to have been involved in a piece of work which will shape the London night sky for years to come.