5 important things that happened in design this week

From the Design Week Awards 2017 shortlist, to an exclusive Angus Hyland interview and a look at political parties’ general election campaign designs, we round up the important design news from the last seven days.

The shortlist was revealed for the Design Week Awards 2017

Our annual awards programme has been running for over 25 years. It sees designers and consultancies rewarded for their excellent work across sectors including graphics, branding, print, product, interiors, exhibitions and more.

This week, we revealed the shortlist for 2017, which includes the crowd-sourced Mozilla rebrand by Johnson Banks, Fémme tampon packaging for the Chinese market by Pearlfisher and the Design Museum’s wayfinding and signage system by Cartlidge Levene, alongside a host of others.

Read our full shortlist here. The awards ceremony takes place on 13 June at the Tower of London. Head to the Design Week Awards site to book a table for the event.

We delved into the illustrious career of Angus Hyland

“Why on earth did I get into graphic design?” are the first words from Angus Hyland in an exclusive interview we ran with the Pentagram partner this week.

Hyland, who is also creative director and consultant at Cass Art and Laurence King Publishing, has written eight books on graphic design and art, and is an external examiner for MA Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA).

As we filmed him at Pentagram’s West London studio, Hyland told us about his family’s scepticism of art and design, his love for record sleeves, and what it’s like working at Pentagram. He also ran through some of his most visually-led, print design work on camera.

“No one in my family could believe you could make a living out of doing art, so to persuade them to go to art college I had to come up with a plausible idea that there was a job behind it,” Hyland candidly told us.

Watch Design Week’s exclusive interview with the Pentagram partner here.

We looked at the political campaigns of the main UK parties

From Theresa May adopting a “personality politics” style campaign, to Labour and the Green Party using more humanising, everyday imagery, there are many differences to be found in parties’ political campaigns in the lead up to the general election on 8 June.

Borrowing from the books of past US presidential candidates such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Conservatives have taken advantage of the prime minister’s leading position in the public opinion polls by placing May at the centre of its campaign.

However, leader of The Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn is currently trailing in the public’s opinion, which is perhaps partly why his campaign has stuck with the party name, rather than focusing on him.

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has used a similar technique to Labour of mimicking the Conservatives’ key phrases and distinctive blue colour in some campaign materials to disparage the party, while the Green Party uses brash, bold typefaces and angry slogans to convey its message. The UK Independence Party (UKIP)’s campaign design is pretty minimal, but the party leader has promised a rebrand could be imminent, in a bid to make the party more “modern”.

Read our full analysis here. The general election takes place on 8 June.

IBM’s Graphic Standards Manual looked set to be reissued

There has been a resurgence in republishing classic graphic design manuals, recent examples being for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An independent publisher called Standards Manual was even launched recently, with the sole aim of bringing these design classics back into existence.

The latest example of this is IBM’s Graphic Standards Manual, which was first designed by Paul Rand in 1956. The designer also created the eponymous layered strip logo for the company, which was launched in 1972 and is still used today.

A Kickstarter campaign to republish the IBM manual has been set up by independent publisher Empire. It needs to reach a target of €28,000 (£23,900) to make the re-print a reality.

A non-partisan political campaign looked to target young, “disillusioned” voters

Recent statistics suggest political apathy is rife among the UK’s public. According to Ipsos, over 15 million people did not vote in 2015’s general election, including 57% of under 25-year-olds.

With the next general election set to take place imminently, campaigners have felt the need to encourage young people to use their vote.

Studio Output revealed a party neutral campaign this week, which looks to encourage those from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds to vote.

RizeUp has been spearheaded by filmmaker Josh Cole alongside the design studio, and features a fist symbol – a “symbol of resistance” – that also doubles up as an “R”, alongside a #RizeUp logo set in all-caps, and an orange, white and black colour palette, which intentionally “steers clear of associations with political parties”, says Rob Coke, executive creative director at Studio Output.

Ian Hambleton, CEO at the design studio, says: “We’re not telling people who to vote for. The important thing is just that people do vote.”

The campaign will run predominantly on social media until the voting registration deadline on 22 May.


Got a design story? Get in touch sarah.dawood@centaurmedia.com.

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