5 important things that happened in design this week

From new product launches by Apple and Microsoft to a Creative Industries Federation report on Brexit, we round up the important design news from the last seven days.

Creative Industries Federation reveals designers Brexit concerns

Brussels , Belgium - March 23, 2015: The European Commission Headquarters of European Community

A report released by the Creative Industries Federation this week revealed that the design industry’s main concerns about Brexit are its possible impact on access to talent and skills, funding and trade, and copyright regulation.

The report – which is a joint project with the Creative Industries Council – looks at the potential impact of leaving the European Union on creative education and creative industries in the UK.

Recommendations made in the report include the government ensuring EU nationals currently employed will be able to stay, creating business and investment support programmes specifically for the creative industries and maintaining cooperation with Europol and other European law enforcement agencies about copyright and IP regulations.

Peter Higgins stressed the importance of A-level art history for designers


Following the announcement in October that the only exam board to run an A-level art history course will be axing the subject, Land Design Studio creative director Peter Higgins has urged designers to protest against the decision.

In an opinion piece for Design Week, Higgins – who is also visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art – writes that the course plays a “fundamental” role in the formative year of many aspiring designers.

The designer also cited opinions from other designers in support of keeping the subject alive, including Ian Ritchie, executive creative director at JKR Global and Ben Casey, creative director and partner at The Chase.

Higgins has urged designers to sign an online petition to save art history A-Level, which currently has over 7,800 signatures.

Action Against Hunger underwent a rebrand


Johnson Banks gave Action Against Hunger a new visual identity, which looks to give the malnutrition charity greater visual uniformity across all its outposts all over the world.

Adapted from its former logo, comprising a blue and green illustrated plant symbol, the new marque keeps the same colour scheme but now references the two key elements of the charity’s work: food and water.

Alongside the logo, the consultancy also decided that all the charity’s outposts should adopt “Action Against Hunger” in their own language as its name.

Michael Johnson, founder and creative director at Johnson Banks, says: “We felt from the start that the full name was far more emotive, and clearly spelled out what they did.”

Apple and Microsoft unveiled new computer designs


In the same week that Apple announced its new Macbook Pro, Microsoft revealed its own desktop computer which is aimed largely at designers and creatives.

Surface Studio features an adjustable hinge which can be tilled to sit at the same angle as a standard drafting board, making it better suited to sketching and designing.

Designers will also be able to sketch their ideas using Microsoft’s Surface Pen, and change the colour or size of the pen tip using the new attachable Surface Dial device.

As for the new MacBook Pro, Apple has replaced the traditional function bar above the keyboard with a thin interactive display designed to give the user greater control in different apps and systems.

The Touch Bar can be used to show tabs and favourites for different internet browsers, allow easy access to emojis when sending messages or edit images and videos.

An all-terrain wheelchair for people in developing countries was revealed


Social enterprise, Uji, has designed a wheelchair for disabled people living in developing countries.

SafariSeat can be used on all terrains and is open-source, meaning it can be made in basic workshops using bicycle parts.

The wheelchair’s designer, Janna Deble, has exceeded his initial crowdfunding target of £30,000 to develop the product.

He now plans to use the additional money to build more wheelchairs, set up workshops and a disability outreach programme in order to reach remote areas of East Africa.

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