5 important things that happened in design this week

From a new retail beauty space for Marie Claire, to an increase in uptake of creative subjects at university level, we round up the important design news from the last seven days.

The number of students taking design at university level increased

Close up of designers hands

A-Levels results day was this week, and UCAS revealed the number of students set to go to university this year had increased on last year.

The number of accepted places on art and design courses has also increased by 350 students – 1% – to a total of 45,650.

Research showed that art and design is one of the subject areas most studied by university students across the UK, coming second only to business and administrative studies.

But government research shows that the number of students taking up art and design A-Levels is declining, so this upward trend at university is likely to drop.

The soon-to-be compulsory English Baccalaureate qualification – which specifies that GCSE students must study English, Maths, Science, a language and a humanity – could be playing a part in this. Many creative leaders and politicians have scrutinised the qualification for “devaluing” creative subjects and placing them on the back burner.

The Premier League took on a new broadcast identity


The Premier League unveiled a rebrand completed by DesignStudio in February, which saw a new icon of a lion’s face and a bespoke typeface created by Monotype.

Now, digital design consultancy DixonBaxi has helped to bring the brand to life on-screen, through title sequences, idents and use of augmented reality and touch screen graphics.

The studio has also incorporated a new infographic system which aims to make sense of live data, league tables, charts and player profiles, making them more decipherable and unifying them under one style.

Sound design studio MassiveMusic has also created an “official anthem” and “walk on” music for use in stadiums.

Airbnb revealed its new Tokyo office space


Airbnb unveiled the interiors of its new office this week, which the company worked on alongside Japanese architect Suppose Office Design.

The office is based in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and has been designed to reinforce a sense of belonging, says Airbnb.

The space is also changeable, and employees can reconfigure communal work tables, height adjustable desks, phone booths, and even lounges and cafés.

You can peer inside the building, and read more about the interiors, here.

The new culture secretary promised to make arts and culture more diverse

Big blue summer skies with fluffy clouds over the iconic cityscape around the gothic stone architecture of St. Stephens' Tower and the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament and the House of Lords, the government of the UK

Karen Bradley was appointed under Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle, and gave her first official public speech this week, saying that arts and culture “must be available to everyone”.

She announced details of the Cultural Citizens Programme, a new initiative that looks to increase access to culture for 600 disadvantaged children across cities such as Liverpool and Blackpool.

Pilots of the initiative will launch next month, and aim to give children free visits to local plays, and access to museums, galleries and cultural venues.

Her words come as the EBacc qualification is set to be made compulsory across schools, which many have said will make the arts harder to access for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

But Bradley says she will work hard to make sure “no child is left out of this country’s magnificent and extraordinary cultural inheritance”.

Marie Claire and Ocado launched a store


Fabled by Marie Claire already existed as an online beauty store, but this week a bricks and mortar physical space was revealed.

The beauty store was created by Gpstudio and hopes to merge the “online and physical worlds”, through use of touch screens, and immersive areas devoted to testing and experimenting with products.

The store adopts a clinical, white interior look, with splashes of colour incorporated through product range displays. The branding, designed by The Clearing, uses a simple, sans-serif typeface with wide kerning.

The store is based near London’s Tottenham Court Road, and there are currently no plans to roll the concept out more widely.

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