Welcome to a new-look Review of the Year
We’re mixing things up this time around and offering not only a look back at the year that was, but also a look ahead at what’s to come in 2020. Here, our editor talks through what to expect from this year’s series.
Welcome to Review of the Year 2019! For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it’s where we pause to reflect and take a look back at the year that was in the creative world, picking out some of the best stories we’ve published and uncovered some of the key trends that have emerged over the past 12 months.
This year, however, things are a little different, as you may have spotted. We’ve still selected the top 25 Features, biggest News stories, and most inspiring Work articles across graphic design, photography and all our main disciplines. But we’ve slimmed down our look back at 2019 just a bit, in order to make way for a brand-new series of articles looking ahead to 2020. This series – appropriately named Preview of the Year – will be dropping on Monday 6 January, so don’t forget to return here after the holidays. Among many other things, we’ll be talking you through what to expect from graphic design, photography, and illustration and animation in the next 12 months, and offering some creative thoughts on two big news events coming up in 2020 – namely, the US elections and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the meantime, if you need something to do over the festive period (and you’ve exhausted all possible avenues of conversation with your estranged uncle), then please do enter our Instagram brief. In previous years we’ve asked you, our loyal readers, to send us a quick sketch or illustration including one word that summed up your year. This time, we’re looking ahead and asking you to identify a creative resolution for next year. We’ve also commissioned three great artists – Caterina Bianchini, Hiller Goodspeed and Zebu – to do the same to provide some initial sparks of inspiration. The best pieces that are submitted to us via Instagram over the Christmas break will be published in an article in the new year. Details on how to enter are here.
Of course, we’re not only saying goodbye to 2019 this year – we’re also bidding farewell to an entire decade. So, elsewhere in Review of the Year, you’ll also find a feature, for which we asked ten leading lights from the worlds of design, art and publishing to contribute their “creative moment” of the years 2010-19. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by politics, protest and the years since 2016 (can anyone really remember a time before then?). But there are a few gems from before that watershed, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which the great Margaret Calvert decided to write about.
At this stage, I’d just like to add a shout-out to my colleagues on the creative team here, particularly Elsa Müller, who worked on the identity for this year’s Review and Preview of the Year. We decided to make the challenge twice as hard by adding the new series looking ahead and she’s done a masterful job. She worked with Johannes Schnatmann, a freelance graphic designer based in Berlin, who has collaborated with PAN as well as Hassan Rahim in the past and is a complete pro when it comes to creating abstract 3D-rendered compositions. Elsa worked with him to create two linked but distinct identities for the two parts of this series.
Creating the identity
Laura Csocsán’s Ambiant Sans typeface in use in the identity
As you’ll see when the Preview of the Year launches on 6 January, the identities focus on embossing and debossing, and on materiality to create a strong sense of the past and future. As Elsa puts it herself: “The idea was to express this duality of past and future through contrasting materials. We chose to make Review of the Year in a rather organic and softer universe, whereas the Preview of the Year feels rather sharp, reflective and shiny.” We’re also incredibly pleased to be using a typeface, Ambiant Sans, across both identities that was designed by one of our 2019 Graduates, Laura Csocsán.
Elsewhere here at It’s Nice That, while things are winding down, we’re also reflecting on a great 2019, a year that has seen us create a huge public installation in the heart of London; publish a series of stories all about the creative industries and climate change; launch a handful of new editorial regulars, including our new long-form Q&A In Conversation and Double Click, a monthly round-up of the best and most experimental web design; and host around 20 events across London, New York, Barcelona and Berlin. We’ve also got big plans for 2020, so do keep in touch next year to see what’s coming next.
All that remains is for me to say thanks to the team at Google Design for supporting this all-new Review and Preview of the Year. And to thank you, our readers, for all your support this year as well. We hope you have a great end to the year and we’ll see you again in January!