Editor’s blog

How do you sum up 2010? It’s been a year of thrills and spills for sure, but not without its high spots.

There’s little need to revisit the economic pressures – and the ever-changing shape of the recession as specified  by WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell. We know too about the stringent Government cuts set to hit us all one way or another and the resulting disarray among some of design’s key organisations – with D&AD for once not being among those under threat with Simon ‘Sanky’ Sankarayya firmly at the presidential helm. So let’s focus on the good stuff for once.

Sanky
Sanky

It’s been a year when the desire for authenticity has run high, with ‘play’ and ‘making’ on the agenda of designers of all disciplines as a foil to burgeoning new business bids. 

On play, interaction group Airside, for example, named its new blog Airside Play and Fray founder Simon Waterfall talked about play as a motivation for his creativity. In the spirit of the current fad for co-design, design afficionados in Cornwall meanwhile took play to the extreme, harnessing the energy generated by kids to feed the national grid and even light up Truro’s Christmas tree.

Simon Waterfall
Simon Waterfall

As for making, Neville Brody’s first Anti Design Festival tapped into the mood, with input by the likes of Dominic Wilcox, who realised ideas on the spot, and hand-drawn type and illustration continuing to gain support.

Talking of illustration, people making a mark this year include psychogeography fanatic Lizzie Mary Cullen. Apart from commissions for Italian restaurant chain Zizzi, she held her first solo show at London’s Framers Gallery, donating all the proceeds to the Big Issue and attracting Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe to the opening. These and other venures make her a great role model for emerging designers trying to make a name in a highly competitive field.

Lizzie Mary Cullen
Lizzie Mary Cullen

Also in the news was Someone founder Simon Manchipp for his assertion that the logo is dead, which provoked much debate and considerable dissent. Someone meanwhile notched up significant job wins for the likes of Eurostar. Can we expect to see a logo-free livery there?

One contentious logo was the Science Museum branding created by Johnson Banks. Is the cleverly kerned ‘square’ a logo or just a typeface? Opinion is divided.

Changes? They were everywhere, with Daljit Singh (now Conran Singh) and Andy Chambers quitting Digit,  The Clearing springing out of Interbrand, Joe Ferry leaving Virgin Atlantic Airways to join Intercontinental Hotels Group, David Godber finding a new career in wind power and Hugo Eccles abruptly ending his term at Studio Conran. And that’s just for starters.

Change is invariably good though and bodes well for a brighter 2011. Let’s hope so.

Meanwhile, have a great Christmas. See you next year.

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