Work / Exhibition

Designs of the Year: Graphics

Many nominees this year provided identity and social commentary, while others stood out for their combination of print and new media. The Newspaper Club in particular, started by Ben Terrett, Russell Davies and Tom Taylor did this brilliantly by giving an online platform to small and big publications to print their work cheaply and easily.

In spite of the rise of digital media, print was still a powerful medium to raise concerns about various issues. The Cafe of Equivalent$ designed by Kennethphillipps prompted City workers to think about the cost of their lunch break in proportion to earnings in developing countries, and the Trillion Dollar Campaign designed by TBWA for The Zimbabwean newspaper highlighted the severity (and absurdity!) of Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation by using the Zimbabwean trillion dollar bill to make its posters and advertising materials. The Daily Visual Column by design collective Gorilla was also a simple yet poignant way getting a point of view across.

There was also an artistic focus, with album designs like Voltaic: Songs from the Volta by M/M for Björk and Yes by Mark Farrow, Gary Stillwell and Sabine Fasching for the Pet Shop Boys making the cut, as well as the poster for the Altermodern exhibition at the Tate Britain, also by M/M, the War Memorial by Harry Pearce for the London Science Museum, and a wonderful cover for The New Yorker by Chris Ware.

Gordan Young Why Not Associates played with the idea of a typographic forest for the Crawley Library, and Peter Bilak and Sayta Rajpurohit’s project The Indian Type Foundry proved to be a great way to keep Indic scripts current and available in a variety of languages.

Other nominees include publications like the Happy Hypocrite, 032c Magazine, Pig 05049, Corporate Diversity: Swiss Graphic Design and Advertising by Geigy 1940-1970, and the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia. This last one, published by FUEL, is a fascinating compilation of over 3,000 drawings and photographs of tattoos documented by Danzig Baldaev during his time working as a prison guard. Finally, the print version of It’s Nice That also made it into this category, and if you’re reading this you probably know what we’re all about already.