Design Week’s review of 2013

We look at the biggest stories, best quotes and things we liked the most from the past 12 months.

Our biggest stories


Daniel Weil’s redesign of the chess set was our most-read story of 2013. Weil based his designs on a Classical theme and the new set made its debut at the World Chess candidates tournament in London in March.

Plane Crash

Also among our most-read stories was our article about French type designer Fabien Delage, who claimed the Home Office used his typeface without permission on its controversial anti-immigration van campaign. Design Week broke the story, which was later picked up by the BBC, the Guardian and Huffington Post, among others.

Old Bailey

Source: Paul Robertson

And we also reported on Government plans to make deliberate copying of design a criminal offence. The proposed legislation change is still travelling through Parliament.

Our most important analysis


We investigated how organisations such as Xerox, Barclays and even the UK Government are embedding design at a high level to improve performance and to make more money.

Editor’s View of the year

Daily Mail

‘Brand42 and the Daily Mail have torn up the web design rule-book, and the results, while not always pretty, are incontrovertibly effective. You might not want to admit to visiting MailOnline, but you have to acknowledge its success.’ We take a look at Mailonline, which won the Grand Prix Award at this year’s Design Business Association Design Effectiveness Awards.

Biggest opportunity


Transport for London opened up its 2D design framework in October, with work covering branding, graphics and digital design. Will you be among those to get your hands on the roundel?

The thing We Liked the most


This brilliant Irish postage stamp, designed by The Stone Twins, features a full 200-word short story, written by Dublin teenager Eoin Moore.

This year’s hottest exhibition

Dalston House

Source: Courtesy of Barbican Art Gallery

Our favourite exhibition this year wasn’t at the V&A, Barbican or Design Museum, but was Leandro Erlich’s totally surreal Dalston House installation in, you guessed it, Dalston.

Our favourite voxpop response

Georgia Fendley

‘Designers create value and more businesses should recognise this. We excel at Design in this country, it’s an under-exploited competitive advantage, great designers provide a clear vision for a brand and the means to communicate this to the consumer, when we get it right this makes brands magnetic. I was invited to join the management board at Mulberry in 2008 and left in 2012.  Over 5 years turnover tripled and the share price rose from £1.50 to a high of £26.00; that’s what designers can bring to a company at board level.’ Construct founder Georgia Fendley, who was brand director of Mulberry from 2008-12, looks at what designers can bring to companies at board level.

Our favourite Industry Voice

John Spencer

Off The Top of My Head’s John Spencer presents six pieces of wisdom (and one heap of nonsense).

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