Graphic design is the creative choice for people who really like numbers, lists and arranging household objects in chromatic gradients on their bookshelves – like physicists with nicer shoes. Stereotypical judgements aside, we’ve selected three of the best practitioners from this most obsessive of disciplines to be our cream of the crop 2011, and we’re sure they’re actually really well-balanced people who wouldn’t dream of coming into your home and lining up your sugar cubes. Except Benjamin Critton, we can’t vouch for that guy, that’s probably exactly what he’d do.
It should go on record that we’d love to have chosen Mr Ray O’Meara to feature in our top three for the magnificent work he did designing Issue #7 of the magazine, but that’d just be full-blown nepotism, so instead we’ll be brief – Ray, we salute you.
Four Corners Books
Four Corners Books have been producing magnificently visual volumes of literature for a few years now. Their versions of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray stood out for their well-considered illustrations and attention to typographic detail (in Dracula the diaries of each of the novel’s characters are set in a unique typeface) not to mention the ambitious undertaking of reproducing such well-loved texts in a cutting edge format. This year however, they smashed it out of the park with Beauty is In The Street: A Visual Record of the May ’68 Paris Uprising a visual diary of the Atelier Populaire and their striking political posters that invited the young and intelligent of Paris to take to the streets and decry their government.
Ben Critton is a multi-talented chap – a designer of designs, writer of words, presenter of presentations and setter of type. His website is one of the cleanest and most enjoyable to navigate we’ve seen and his personal and commercial work seems effortlessly beautiful and well considered. In spite of all this enviable talent one of the nicest things he’s produced is a site called False Arms a collection of objects, landscapes, architecture and erotica that’s carefully arranged by hue into one long scroll of vibrant colour. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
FOAM have a knack for producing really engaging advertising across pretty much all imaginable platforms. This year they’ve dabbled with Twitter, robotics, Google Earth, football gaming with real human players and custom bikes. But the project that’s seen them celebrated in the graphic design category utilized a scalpel and some paper in its execution. Horses was a series of posters produced for Dry The River, a relatively unknown band then recently signed to RCA. The huge 3D horses grabbed everyone’s attention on the street and we ruddy loved them here in the studio. We’re pretty sure they must all have been nicked pretty soon after they went up, but that’s a small price to pay for all the press they received. (Also massive congratulations to Xavier Barrade, the intern who created these posters during his time with FOAM).
- Milou Trouwborst's refined, simplistic and melancholic illustrations
- "It was strangely liberating" – Christoph Niemann on creating his new book Sunday Sketching
- Designer Okuyama Taiki encourages you to “play freely” with his experimental posters
- Gijs Henselmans’ illustrations: absurd, gruesome, but always hilarious
- All That Glitters: inside the Barbican’s “vulgar” catalogue
- Graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge talks to us about his favourite books
- Bompas & Parr explores the strange world of sploshing (NSFW)
- Working Not Working reveals the top 50 companies creatives would kill to work for
- Kodak returns to its 1970s symbol, joining the retrobrand bandwagon
- Kodak unveils the Ektra: its first ever smartphone
- Retracing and recreating historic reggae record sleeves with photographer Alex Bartsch
- William Knight's socially conscious portfolio of graphic design