Mike Dempsey,Carroll, Dempsey & Thirkell1991

Now approaching its quarter-century, the logo for the English National Opera (ENO) still has the power to surprise those who have not encountered it before. A mark that reflects the broadening audience for classical music, and opera in particular, it is redolent of the ambitions the ENO company had in the early 1990s, and of its attempts to modernize the art form it has championed through challenging and exuberant performances. Designer Mike Dempsey centred his design firmly on ‘the voice’, and the logo is still singing proudly today.

The genesis of the logo goes back to work that Dempsey, a founder of the Carroll, Dempsey & Thirkell (CDT) studio, had carried out for the newly reestablished London ...

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