Having spent more than half of my life working in the graphic design and communications business I have seen many design trends come and go. One thing that is certain, is the state of graphic design is in constant flux. This is reflected in “Graphic Design Today” an in-depth survey on progressive contemporary graphic design from Gestalten. In recent years, graphic designs relationship with adjoining disciplines such as illustration, three-dimensional installation art, industrial design, interactive design, UI/UX design has pushed the further development of the discipline. And this in turn is raising the bar for graphic designers.
This book from Gestalten examines and documents the current state of graphic design, identifying some of the most visionary young designers at the top of their game with examples of their progressive design aesthetics in the printed form. The book features a wide range of graphic design samples ranging from poster design, book, and magazine editorial design as well as typography. Most of the work is print oriented and shows a trend that I find interesting, a desconstructavist approach to visual design that blends elements of the 1980’s 90’s and early 2000’s into a unique style that intentionally manipulates and distorts traditional rules and ideas with a playful and experimental verve.
Graphic Design Today features design trends from Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, France, Great Britain and the USA. Through abundant visuals and illuminating texts accompanying each featured project, and a foreword by François Rappo, renowned typographer, and teacher at ECAL Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, this expansive volume provides an in-depth look at the state-of-the-art of contemporary graphic design and is going in my design library.
Christmas might be over, but you can still find out if you are naughty or nice thanks to Wieden + Kennedy London. Using the store front window from their London based offices, WK built an eight bit retro inspired Naughty or Nice o Meter and used it to grab passers by for a bit of Christmas fun. The video below shows how the set up worked, including a manual override function. At the end they give some stats about how many people participated and the end results. If you are in London you can still stop by and check it out, if not they have an online version here that you can use.
After living downtown and watching people try to parallel park their cars for a year, I think this billboard from Fiat needs to be everywhere. Why? Because most people simply can’t parallel park. Beyond that this is a real nice piece of ambient marketing that uses slick in house developed technology to pull it off. Designed by Leo Burnett in Germany, the Parking Billboard uses ultrasonic sensors tied to pre-recorded videos to help guide drivers as they park. Leo Burnett has created a fun, memorable piece to promote their small city cars and extend the brand to non Fiat drivers as well. Nice stuff guys.
As the owner of two rescued and adopted dogs this campaign for the Battersea Dogs Home, hits a special note with me. Created by Ogilvy London, the campaign involves leaflets that are embedded with RFID tags that are synced to every Adshell billboard and inteactive screen at the Westfield Mall in London. As people carrying the leaflets walk by video is dynamically loaded to the screen with a call to action message about pet adoptions. The entire campaign is tied to social media using the hashtags #LookingForYou. This is such a nice blend of technology, design, and marketing prowess.
Since the campaign launched in 2014 Batersea has placed more than 3000 dogs in new homes.
Wish you had a crystal ball to help you predict future design trends for 2015? So do I, but since I don’t I have turned to a number of sources on the web to help figure that out. While doing a little research last night I came across this infographic from Coastal Creative that does a pretty good job of attempting to predict what last years trends will evolve into. Coastal feels that larger photography, background video, better type, and semi flat design will lead the way, and I agree. Thanks to improved bandwidth, smartphones, and emerging technologies, I could see any of the predictions below holding fast or continuing to grow over the next 12 months.
Parallax scrolling has been making waves for a couple of years in the interactive design community. Even if you don’t build interactive content, websites, or mobile apps you have probably come in contact with a parallax scrolling site or application. Building this kind of interactive experience has real pay-off with extended audience engagement, but unless you have a really solid team of coders, it can also be a daunting task. This is where Webydo steps in with its new Parallax Scrolling Animator software that is currently in a closed beta. The link above will take you to the site where you can sign up to join the beta test and help shape the final outcome of this code-free design tool.
Now, before you say the whole parallax thing has jumped the shark, think again. It’s here to stay. I agree that the problem with it is, that it has been overused as the hot new look, and more often than not it has been done badly. I also agree that there are issues with speed, mobile implementation, and SEO, but it isn’t going away, so Webydo might make your life a bit easier, and your results a lot better.
As Zack Rutherford points out in UX Magazine. Paralax has a certain wow factor and gives designers an opportunity to push interactive design in some exciting directions if done right. With Webydo making parallax available to its users there is hopefully a chance for less bad parallax, and more well designed rich interactivity..