5 important things that happened in design this week

A report on the potential impact of plain food and drink packaging, Pantone’s purple hued colour of the year and Mini’s new, monochrome logo – the news from the last seven days.

Purple was named as Pantone’s colour of the year

Launched in 2000, Pantone’s colour of the year is based on industry trends in areas as varied as design and entertainment. The company says its annual colour also influences product and purchasing decisions in industries from graphics to packaging and home furnishings to fashion design.

This year’s shade of choice was unveiled this week and is Pantone 18-3838, otherwise known as Ultra Violet. Chosen for its “provocative” and “thoughtful” hue, said Pantone, the colour alludes to the growing trend for wellness and spirituality.

“From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way for what is yet to come,” added Pantone Colour Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

It replaces last year’s colour Greenery, which Pantone said was chosen to demonstrate hope during turbulent times.

Coventry became the UK’s next City of Culture

West Midlands-based Coventry became the third ever UK City of Culture this week, when it was voted to take over the prestigious title from Hull in 2021.

Coventry beat four other shortlisted cities to win the £3 million prize, including Swansea, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland. In 2021, it will host a year-long programme events that will include everything from an art festival called Moments of Silence to reflect on the city’s 700-year-old Cathusian monastery Charterhouse, to a new light-based installation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the city’s cathedral.

The title does not have anything to with the European Capital of Culture however, which the UK was due to host in 2023 but has recently lost the right to hold as a result of Brexit.

A report looked at the potential impact of plain packaging on the food and drink industries

It has already been suggested that the non-branded tobacco packaging introduced earlier this year could drive 300,000 people in the UK to quit smoking, should the measures prove to be as successful as they have already been in Australia.

But could plain packaging and health warnings on your favourite fizzy drinks and chocolate brands be used to help to combat health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease? A report from financial consultancy Brand Finance was released this week, looking at the impact this kind of legislation could have on the major companies that own many of these food and drink brands.

The report found that if plain packaging legislation comes into effect, it could result in at least $293bn (£219bn) worth of losses across the industry, as it would prevent brands from differentiating products from their competitors.

The report suggested that sugary drinks and alcohol brands are the most at risk. For example, PepsiCo – which owns brands such as Pepsi, 7Up, Doritos and Lay’s – would be estimated to lose 27% of its value, while alcohol-only companies such as Pernod Ricard would leave themselves completely exposed, as all of their products would be affected.

Read the Plain Packaging Report 2017 in full here.

Mini rolled out its retro-inspired logo

Car brand Mini unveiled a new badge this week, which uses the logo designed by German consultancy KKLD Berlin in collaboration with Mini’s in-house design team in 2015.

The new car marque sees a two-dimensional, monochrome version of the “winged wheel” motif traditionally associated with the brand since it launched in 1959.

It will roll out from March 2018, and will be used on all Mini models – including on the bonnet, at the rear of the car, at the centre of the steering wheel and on the key fob.

We looked back at the design that made an impact in 2017

As 2018 fast approaches, we’ve been taking stock and reflecting on some of the biggest moments in design over past year as part of a series of round-ups.

Some of our most popular stories from this year have ranged from an actual Museum of Failure – which exhibits brand “fuck ups” as bad as beef lasagne by toothpaste brand Colgate – to a comment piece on why fewer students are taking art and design at university.
We also looked at some of the biggest product launches from 2017, which have included everything from an all-electric, environmentally friendly reincarnation of the classic VW camper van made famous during the 1960s hippie era, to a toy called Algobrix that teaches kids to code by building robots out of lego.

Finally, we celebrated designers and other figures who have made an impact on design this year – both good and bad. These include recently appointed Design Council CEO Sarah Weir for championing the value of design to the UK economy, designer Morag Myerscough for her many social design projects completed this year, and the minister of state for digital Matt Hancock.

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