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the design trends shaping the industry’s future What’s been happening in design this year and where is it heading? We gather expert opinion and reveal all Trends are easy to identify a few years after they’ve happened. But they’re notoriously difficult to spot at the time. Take economics. Looking back at the early 2000s, the trends towards asset and property bubbles is clear. But most economists at the time didn’t have a clue, and the worldwide slump came as a huge shock to experts and governments alike. Or what about politics? Few predicted Brexit or the rise of Trump, but looking back, the global trend towards voter dissatisfaction and populist outrage was hiding in plain sight. So as we analyse the design trends of the past 12 months, we’re well aware that this is merely what The Washington Post’s Philip L
C O V E R A RTI S T
Making the cover So the age-old question: how does a magazine covering graphic design present itself to the design community? Is pure, unfussy minimalism the best way to showcase the work? Or is a design magazine obligated to get involved and present itself with the spirit of the times? It’s a question we wrestle with frequently, and in truth, we’re no closer to answering it. Certainly, this issue’s focus on design trends (itself, a wonderfully controversial and nebulous subject matter) left us pondering how best to communicate the rich content on offer. If we wanted to be absolutely cutting edge, we’d have probably taken all the images off, created a custom font and typed the full catalogue of current trends black-on-black, and upside down. Minimal, obtuse and daring certainly makes for eye-catching design. Do readers need to read the coverlines or would they rather feel the experience? It’s impossible to know for sure, but as a newsstand publication we’re bound to make concessions to traditional newsstand principles (unless we’re feeling particularly frisky) and the final cover arrived pretty much finished in the first draft: a brutally edited handful of key images form the dozens on offer that somehow summarised the prevalent mood of simple, elegant simplicity.
mark wynne Mark has worked in graphic design for over 20-years, working on magazines including cult videogame title Edge. He has presented a Guardian Masterclass on editorial design and is a regular contributor of magazine reviews and articles to creativebloq. c o mputera rts.creati vebloq.com -3-
Top: The mood and look of the cover was very much inspired by the superb Computer Art Collections covers designed by Luke O’ Neill. Simple geometric shapes and colours. Above and below: The feature itself was informed by the cover design... despite the abundance of assets available, our editorial objective was to display trends with just key, clear examples.
W EL C OM E
Editor’s letter Since I’ve worked on creative magazines – whether they’re
about fantasy art, fine art, photography or design – one topic always comes up: creative authorship and the importance of having a unique voice or style in your chosen creative medium. It comes from the romantic notion of the artist as auteur. The 19th century romantic artists had a part to play with their
Verity Kent Over on page 25, FINE art director Verity Kent explains how recent graduates could get a head start in the design industry by making the most of mentorships. www.wearefine.com
dramatic self-portraits – like Gustave Courbet’s The Desperate Man – putting the (ideally tortured, ideally French) genius artist front and centre. After millennia of being brushes for hire by the church or rich patrons, what mattered was depicting the artist’s vision, a shade of their soul: utterly unique, totally personal. It’s still how people like to view artists. But that becomes a bit tricky when you apply that thinking to
Adrian Shaughnessy Adrian Shaughnessy of independent publishing venture Unit Editions is just one of the creatives talking the pros and cons of self-publishing, on page 42. www.uniteditions.com
the commercially creative world, when creatives are working for clients to briefs. How much should the work speak of its creator? Or is that totally inappropriate? Our two features in this issue speak to that dichotomy a bit. Self-publishing (page 42) can offer a wonderfully creative, rewarding – and most appealingly of all – personal output. On the other hand, looking at the trends of the day (page 60) is to concern yourself with what’s already being done. Essential to
Kate Dawkins Live experience designer Kate Dawkins speaks to us on page 52, discussing how she wows global audiences using pixels and projections. www.katedawkinsstudio.com
know, but not to simply mimic. When Computer Arts spoke to design legend Milton Glaser back in 2010, he told us: “The best designers have a broader look
and don’t change with the prevailing wind. If you’re serious about
Veronica Fuerte, of Barcelona-based design studio Hey, reveals how her and the colleagues compete at a global level, despite being a small team, on page 76. www.heystudio.es
design, you have to be more concerned about durability and ideas that go beyond the moment.” Of course, as the two features suggest, there’s definitely room for both – incredibly personal and brief-specific work. The trick – and the fun – is striking that balance!
Valentina D’Efilippo On page 88, award-winning designer Valentina D’Efilippo guides us through her research, covering how different cultures see the world in map form. www.valentinadefilippo.co.uk
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Aaron spent a lot of the month making the most of the surrounding Xmas madness. So far he’s consumed two bratwurst hotdogs and one Yorkshire pudding wrap, all while not having bought nearly enough presents.
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Garrick Webster Freelance writer Aside from assessing how designers self-publish, Garrick has been researching supply chain logistics in the petroleum industry, looking into the benefits of LED lighting in film. Plus staring at dragon paintings.
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operations editor, creative bloq Rosie has finally escaped her freezing flat and moved into a house. Apart from double glazing, the new place has a kitsch fake fire, bright red hallway and a loft she’s too scared to venture in to.
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ISSUE 287 j a nua r y 20 19
Trends The Future Laboratory’s future-proof findings, as revealed on their brand new microsite
Fresh eyes Simoul Alva explains how her affinity for abstract visual designs is wowing the professionals
my space Utrecht-based designer Nick Liefhebber shows us around his print-filled home studio
events All the latest happenings from Adobe MAX 2018, Bath Digital Festival and The Typographic Circle
Essay Daljit Singh on how being paid late can cost small businesses success
design matters What’s the secret to winning big clients as a small studio?
column Verity Kent reveals why mentorships can be advantageous to both parties
The economist rebrand Three perspectives on the 175-yearold financial magazine’s new look
inspiration feed Guy McKinley’s crisp, clear and sprite-ly illustrations
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make a small team global How Spanish design studio Hey competes on the global stage
Carlsberg craftmanship Taxi Studio on reworking Carlsberg using a distinctly Danish design
What is a river? Illustrator Monika Vaicenaviciene on creating her picture book
destigmatising periods NH1’s bold menstruation campaign
c o n te n ts
42 E verything You Always Wanted to Know About Self-publishing
60 new trends in design
Tom May speaks to top creatives about their thoughts on the key trends that shaped 2018, and where the design industry as a whole is heading
in conversation with
Garrick Webster investigates the designers going the self-publishing route to get their work seen
showcase Computer Arts runs through the hottest new design, illustration and motion work from the global design scene
52 Dawkins: Kate light & dark In a sit-down discussion with Ruth Hamilton, live experience designer Kate Dawkins shares the stories behind her ambitious event projects, and the innovative techniques used to pull them off successfully
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design inspiration Valentina Dâ€™Efilippo on how where you live impacts your take on the world
All images by Nikita Iziev for the Global Futures Forum
tr en ds
four 'tracks' to future-proof brands The Future Laboratory’s new microsite opens up the findings of its annual forum to all, and brands should take note his October, The Future Laboratory’s third annual Global Futures Forum convened in London to prompt, provoke and inspire future innovation. Bringing together a range of experts – from AI ethicists and smart city planners to mental health practitioners – it was an ideas symposium where TFL's original thinking and research combined with external experts. The day was broken down into four distinct ‘tracks’: the future of brand purpose; future of gender;
future of wellbeing; and future of youth. These became the base of the newly launched Choose Your Futures microsite. “The premise of the site was to open the conversation to the public,” explains TFL's art director Aleksandra Szymanska, “with a diversity of visual elements – photography, video and illustration, and a series of typographic animations commissioned by Nikita Iziev, to represent each track." As well as the easy navigation, “the site teases out the key questions c o mputera rts.creati vebloq.com - 10 -
t r e nds
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cu lt u r e
that brands and consumers should be asking themselves at this moment in time,” says Szymanska. “It also acts as a snapshot of the thinking presented at our event. Absorbing all of the content on the day can be potentially overwhelming, so the site provides a platform the attendees can further explore the themes.” The first track investigates consumers’ desires for brands with purpose in relation to their drive for innovation. “We’re seeing traditional moral frameworks of religion and family declining,” says TFL’s editorial director Tim Noakes, “and brands and consumers reevaluating the power of innovation and the need for a moral code fit for a digital era. “Alongside the worrying rise of nationalism in global politics, there is also huge investment in technologies like AI," he continues. "As we become more aware of the biases that black box algorithms are forcing on society, techno-optimism
is waning, leaving in its wake a desire to recalibrate our moral compass and imbed both integrity and collective ethical codes of conduct into new technologies.” So will unethical brands be ostracised in the future? “If brands don’t embed a trusted moral compass at the heart of what they do, their consumer base will migrate towards businesses that do,” he tells us. “So, yes, they will be ostracised and ultimately crumble." With gender equality on pay predicted to be achieved by 2059, TFL also wanted to address “the mindset shifts that need to take place over the next decade to make sure that humans are judged and rewarded on their merits, not sex,” says Noakes. A single solution isn’t the aim. Instead a range of areas – from brands helping men build better emotional intelligence to bringing more women to the decision making table – is explored. All tracks are interconnected, but with Gen Z currently starting c o mputera rts.creati vebloq.com - 12 -
full-time employment, its expectations and approach to brands will play a big part in shaping the future. “Teens are in a state of flux,” says Noakes, “but rather than succumbing to passivity, Gen Z is intent on setting a new activism-inspired agenda – one whose impact and influence is being felt around the world. This new emerging mindset will come to affect all the other areas and demographics shown on the microsite... It’s going to be exciting to see how the world changes as a result of their anxiety rebellion!” www.thefuturelaboratory.com/ choose-your-futures
The Future Laboratory A world-leading strategic foresight consultancy, specialising in trends intelligence, strategic research and innovation strategy. It makes businesses fit for the future by empowering them to make the right decisions, mitigate risk and reduce uncertainty. Follow @TheFutureLab on Twitter
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