We’ve got a great foundation for weathering harder times

Lynda Relph-Knight

It’s been a year of positive change for design. Finances have looked healthier than for several years, and, in business, the star turn has once more been Loewy, whose acquisition of Seymour Powell added another creative gem to its crown. Watch out for Media Square though since its reorganisation.

As ever, the new year heralds a new start for some businesses. Mike Dempsey has announced his amicable departure from CDT Design, while Callum Lumsden’s decision to throw in his lot with Small Back Room potentially broadens its scope, for example.

It is harder to assess creativity, but branding and packaging appear to have recovered ground they lost last year, judging by the work going through studios. Print is still will us, despite the onset of digital work, with integration increasingly a requirement.

The furore over Wolff Olins’ identity for the 2012 London Olympics is a timely reminder that we need more design champions on the client side and for consultancies to explain their designs better. All credit to companies such as Land Securities and Thrislington Cubicles, which continue to show their peers the way.

Meanwhile, it’s been a year for celebrating design across the UK. Designs of the Time was a huge success in the North East, Scotland completed its first Six Cities project and the London Design Festival refocused, with support from the London Development Agency.

If 2007 is remembered for anything, it will surely be as a turning point for digital design. It was the year that people actually ‘got it’, from clients to consultancies, and expansion is rife. Meanwhile, there was a Black Pencil for digital group R/GA at D&AD, where digital star Simon Waterfall, now a Royal Designer, reigns as president.

There’s much to build on here, despite economic warnings of tighter times to come. It’s a question of staying positive and spotting the opportunities – things designers are great at doing.

We wish you a great Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

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