Also in this week’s Design Diary, our roundup of projects, events, and general design world news, we bring you a magazine about “how the medium affects the message,” an ace new website from Parisian art direction and graphics studio office_hlc, and more. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
SWIM Magazine, issue 3
The third issue of SWIM Magazine is out now, and the loose theme that unites the featured works are that they demonstrate a “conceptual or technical shift” in the artist’s practice, according to editor Daniel Milroy Maher. “It also ventures deeper into the subject of the medium, investigating topics such as how mediums change over time, how one can be used to imitate and create another, and how the medium affects the message.”
In accordance with this theme, the cover for issue three has been hand-painted and screen-printed “in order to change the medium through which a magazine cover is typically created,” Maher says. That also means that each issue is completely unique. Throughout the magazine, the images and text examine how and why artists change media—whether that’s a musician moving into visual art or photographers switching to painting.
Design Industry Big Guns Weigh in With Their Predictions for 2020
Folks from agencies Lewis Moberly, CBA London, FutureBrand, and Morrama, as well as UK-based organization Design Council, have gazed into their crystal balls to offer a bit of insight into the world of design over the next year—and, boldly, the next decade. These range from things that we are (thankfully) already beginning to see happen—such as Lewis Moberly creative director Emily Fox’s assertion that packaging design will align with wider aims of “buying less but better.” CBA London creative director of brand experience Craig Glass takes a similar environmental stance: “Durability and desirability will overtake the instant gratification model,” he says.
Cat Drew, chief design officer at the Design Council echoes this, saying that “Design will need to recognize the impact it has had on the environment and how its creativity can be used to live more sustainably and lessen the effect of the climate crisis.” This is a view shared by Jo Barnard, founder of Morrama: “…the industry can no longer turn a blind eye to environmental responsibility. Two part pricing products are going to be king. Subscription services will rise. And fingers crossed this will open doors for more sustainable consumption through re-fillable, re-usable, upgradable products.”
Glass adds a broad humanitarian viewpoint, predicting that brands must from now on ensure they’re “supporting community, circularity, human empathy, and providing direction for positive, mutually-informed behavioral change.” He doesn’t really explain how, but it’s a nice idea. Drew puts it more succinctly: “Given the complex challenges we’re working in, designers will need to work more collaboratively across and beyond design disciplines, with other innovators working in other parts of the system, and with other professions beyond design.”
Meanwhile, the agency Frog Design makes a more wide-ranging, somewhat esoteric prediction. “2020 and beyond will be all about bringing it back to humans. Everything we do, make, ship and scale will not be about how far we can advance the technology, but how well we can make it work for the people that use it,” it says. “We say, no more tech for tech’s sake. Instead, let’s enter a new age of awareness, of value and, of course, new possibilities. Let’s welcome the Age of the Senses—making sense of tech, expanding our human senses and capabilities, and finding our sense when it comes to what matters for people, society, and the planet.”
Studio Maximilian Mauracher, ENTKUNSTUNG Poster Project
Berlin-based Studio Maximilian Mauracher, whose gorgeous monochromatic work we featured a few years back, has been busy working on a collaborative poster project called ENTKUNSTUNG—a yearbook of sorts for which it invited 22 artists and designers to contribute an artwork. The final book features 20 posters from practitioners around the word—from Tokyo to Johannesburg, Berlin, Mexico City, and Bogotá—that “represent not only each artist’s aesthetic, but also a strong feeling of community and cooperation,” says Mauracher.
He adds, “All the people involved in this project have a lofty and humble idea of working together based on solidarity. We knew their work because we admire what they do. Although some of them didn’t know about us, the response to our request was terrific and the support bigger than we could have ever imagined.”
Among those who contributed to the project are Aldo Arillo from Guadalajara, EoD fave Benoît Bodhuin from Nantes, Frankfurt-based Jan Buchczik and Marc Krause, Budapest’s Laura Csocsán, Mauracher himself, and more.
Office_hlc, new site and new work
Parisian art direction and graphics studio office_hlc works across identity, digital, and editorial designs in art, fashion, architecture, and other cultural projects, and has just launched a brilliant new site to show all of this work off. According to studio founder Hadrien Lopez, the studio prides itself on its “conceptual approach to typography,” as well as the materials it uses and a highly detailed approach to fabrication. Among the projects the new sit showcases are a lookbook newspaper for fashion brand Éternel Parisien, the visual identity for Adidas range Powered by Paris, and its typographic project 24.
Wei Yew, Chinese New Year stationary for the year of the rat
Since 1983, Canadian designer Wei Yew has redesigned his company’s stationery every Chinese New Year according to the animal sign of the Chinese Zodiac. In this 12-year classification scheme, each year is assigned to an animal and its reputed attributes, and it ranges from the dragon to the rat (this year’s animal).
Besides the fascinating (and long-running) effort, the collection also tells the story of how the immigrant designer, originally from Singapore, established himself in a new country through cross-cultural design. Over the course of his long career, Wei has designed the Olympic Truce logo and a book to mark the centennial of the games in 1996. Most recently, he designed the the trophy for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s International Prize, and a sculpture for Canada’s research station in the Arctic. (Text here written by writer Justin Zhuang.)