Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week.
Now in its 10th year, The Design Museum’s Beazley Design Awards have once again crowned the best designs of the year. David Adjaye’s National Museum of African American History and Culture came in first overall (as well as in the architecture category), while the MIT Self-Assembly Lab’s liquid 3D printing technique, Graviky Labs’ ink made from air pollution, and a high-performance hijab from Nike swept the other categories. In graphics, the New York Times Magazine cover for ‘Fractured Lands’—a piece on the fracturing of the Arab world, from the Iraq invasion to ISIS to the refugee crisis—took home the award. But there there was also a long list of runners-up worth paying attention to.
We were glad to see OK-RM’s design for Jack Self’s Real Review among them, as well as the design for Action Time Vision, a collection of DIY graphics from the punk and post-punk eras, published by Unit Editions. There was a fair share of political graphic work in the 2017 shortlist as well, including ME & EU from by Craig Oldham’s Common Practices publisher (which we wrote about on the site) and a series of political posters designed by Michael Oswell specifically for the social media age. See the rest of the graphics winners below, and the full line-up here.
In Stockholm, design firm Bedow has made some really nice beer packaging for a German brewery called St. Erhard. The brewery’s first three beers are called Farmer, Mayflower, and Saison—though you’ll have to decipher that through a delightful arrangement of shapes, symbols, and colors on the bottles’ labels. Bedow offset printed the typographic system “with one hot foiled geometric shape on each label,” according to its site. The beers also have coasters to match, but the best detail is the lone shape adorning each bottle cap.
Trying to find fonts designed by women, so as not to perpetuate an environment where women continue to go underrepresented in the traditionally conservative field of type design? That’s great. Here’s just the tool to help you in that noble endeavor: Badass Libre Fonts by Womxn, spearheaded by Belgium-based designer Loraine Furter. As the name suggests, all the fonts on the site are shared under Free, Libre, and Open Source licenses, and they’re all designed by women generous enough to donate them, thereby “feeding an ecosystem of sharing and collaboration.” Use, share, contribute.
Frankfurt-based design studio Bureau Mitte has just released its work for the Deutscher Werkbund, or the German Association of Craftsmen, in the form of two different poster series promoting the group. The designers looked at the mission statement of Deutscher Werkbund and pulled three pairs of words that seemed to be in dialogue with each other: “work” (werk) in relation to “value” (wert); “education” (bildung) as it relates to “attitude” (haltung); and “format” as it relates to the term “design.” Then they explored the pairs through two different poster series:
The first series (left) sees the words transforming into each other from the top of the page to the bottom. Series two (right) shows an alternative kind of transformation through the disorienting modification of letterforms. Both are rendered in bright primary colors, and both are equally as striking.
D&AD, the Global Association for Creative Advertising & Design Awards, is gearing up for its annual festival and New Blood awards with a campaign called ‘Start with a Mark’ centered around a digital drawing tool designed by Hato. The idea is for people to use the tool to generate drawings, 3D designs, and animations, and contribute them to a shared gallery. The best will be selected by Hato to develop the official 2018 festival and New Blood Awards identity and environmental graphics.
Try out the tool here. A few designers you may recognize (below) already did.