Lloyd’s Register Foundation stand at the 2023 Economist World Ocean Summit


In mid-January we were approached by Grace Marren, of Lloyd’s Register Foundation, to create the look and feel for an exhibition stand for the 2023 World Ocean Summit being held in Lisbon from 27 February to 1 March. The brief was fairly straightforward but timings were tight for a design and build. The Foundation had booked a 6m x 6m space consisting of two, six-metre-long walls which they wanted to fill with artworks incorporating their new brand, as well as images, and key messages related to their commitment to ‘safety at sea’.

At the three-day event Chief Executive, Ruth Boumphrey would join a global panel to discuss ‘changing the way business is being done in the ocean’. Other discussions would centre around ‘engineering a safer and more sustainable ocean’ as well as ‘what young people think is needed for a safe and more sustainable ocean economy’. It was important that the stand provided the opportunity to network, which was one of our key considerations for the design and space planning.

The project involved us liaising with the Foundation’s chosen exhibition supplier, Kislog who have lots of experience in conferences and events and are based in Portugal. They were responsible for the production of the stand and the print and installation of graphics, lighting and audio-visual elements. Key to the project was ensuring that the stand had the impact and gravitas that LRF required whilst also ensuring that the stand was economical to produce, space efficient and facilitating networking opportunities.

Working with Grace and Beth Elliott (Head of Communications & Global Campaigns at Lloyd’s Register Foundation) we needed to produce concepts and solutions that could be turned around quickly to meet the end-of-February deadline. We recommended large-format canvas graphics for both walls for high visual impact and cost-effective implementation. The first canvas consisted of a hero graphic with the core Foundation brand message “Engineering a safer world’, whilst the second canvas consisted of multiple images with numerous stories arranged as a montage under the heading ‘stories from the sea’.


To engage with the audience, we selected impactful photography from the rich library of imagery that the Foundation has at its disposal related to ‘safety at sea’. We chose a mixture of close-up people imagery (reflecting some of the hardships they endured), with location imagery (to show the context and structures they occupied) and landscape photography (to give a sense of location and isolation).

To make the montage wall more effective and intriguing the imagery was a mixture of flat graphics combined with 3D lightboxes and video screens all arranged in a complex grid formation which would draw the eye in multiple directions. The accompanying stories gave small insights into the perils and dangers that could be experienced at sea, told from the perspectives of mariners from around the world.

To help brand the space beyond the large format graphics, but also keeping the stand open for easy access and networking, we designed a large 3D corner unit for the stand with hidden sofa seating. The structure created a branded feature at the key footfall area where the aisles crossed. The two sides allowed us to use the large L and R letterforms taken from the Foundation’s logo and incorporate them as cut-out shapes from MDF which was then sprayed white to create an intriguing 3D effect. We also sandwiched Perspex between the front and back sheets of the structure with additional lighting used above to illuminate the edges, in effect creating a small corner sound booth where people could sit, chat and network. The resultant 3D cut-out structure also reinforced the thinking behind the current rebrand, that uses the same effect in print and digital, of seeing through the letters as ‘windows into other worlds’.

We received lots of compliments about the stand – in particular the focus on human stories which highlighted the reality that the ocean is the most dangerous environment to work in. The stand provided a great place to meet new contacts, share knowledge and insights and was well designed to facilitate dialogue. Beth Elliott (Head of Communications & Global Campaigns at Lloyd’s Register Foundation)

You can read more about the safety of our oceans in the Foundation’s latest newsletter: Reflections from The Economist World Ocean Summit 2023.