2016 has been a strange old year, with major political upheavals, a slew of very sad losses (David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, the list goes on), and of course, the devastating news that Toblerone bars have lost about half of their chocolatey triangles. While it’s not our place to comment on these seismic shifts in current affairs, celebrity, and confectionary, what we can provide commentary on are the most read (and often most contentious) stories on Eye on Design this year—plus some of our favorite design projects of 2016.
At the beginning of 2016, we examined the key to predicting what the year would hold for design, and we went into way more depth than that hardy perennial of design chit-chat, Pantone’s color of the year (FYI, for 2017 it’s “Greenery”).
Michal Sloboda and Ondřej Zita, who run the Trend List blog, revealed that “trends in general seem to be based around ‘two main principles that constantly clash.’ On the one hand, there’s the very calculated and organized graphic design that’s often laid out on grid, and on the other hand there’s design that’s more expressive and anarchic. The last few years have been dominated by the grid, so we think 2016 will definitely be more punk.”
So was it? We’re not so sure. While London was certainly entrenched in celebrating 40 years of punk with numerous shows, events, and talks, the wider graphic design world seemed to shy away from the “traditional,” Jamie Reid-style cut ’n’ paste, monarchy-hating vibes. We’ve unpacked that in another piece over here.
The top 10 most read stories…
1. On a Scale from 1-100, Milton Glaser Rates Every Single Olympic Logo Design in History
Ahead of the Rio Olympic Games this year, we asked veritable design legend Milton Glaser to rate every single Olympic logo design from the 1920s to the present day. Comments ranged from “the typography is peculiar and unpleasant” to “the spirit of the Olympics is totally absent” to “perhaps more appropriate for a manufacturer of paper towels. Milton, you’re the best. Logo designers, look and learn.
In July, Pentagram rebranded Mastercard to a predictably mixed response. As for Bierut, he was “highly conscious that the thing we’re talking about is just two circles and two primary colors.” Oh Michael, isn’t it always though?
Don’t go messing with intellectual property. Here’s why, from a few designers who’ve been ripped off: Anthony Burrill, Mirko Ilic, and Milton Glaser.
Still puzzled? Don’t be! Simply revisit this post, where we explain what a UX designer does, what a UI designer does differently, and why we need both.
If you’re stuck for something to do over the holiday break, you could do worse than flexing your font knowhow with our big fat lettering quiz, which it seemed a lot of you were digging around the start of this year.
We spoke to designers at various stages in their careers about how mental health issues affect their work, and how the design industry can best approach the issues surrounding depression.
A look at why the fun trend led by the likes of illustrators Penelope Gazin and Tuesday Bassen is actually a savvy business move.
TwoPoints is a studio that specializes in something called Flexible Visual Identities (FVI) for both arts and corporate clients, and which boldly asserts that “the static logo… has proved insufficient in modern visual communication.”
Triboro design studio on why “the logo is not the identity” and why the best design teaching sets the right mix of restrictions and freedom.
If “unbridled creativity is what brought out the energetic feeling of rave,” it’s little surprise that the movement left an indelible and very, very bright mark on graphic design style since.
The top 5 most read op-eds…
The top 5 most read illustration stories…
The top 5 most read typography stories…
Editors’ picks: our top 10 favorite images from Eye on Design this year…
Cheers! To plenty more in 2017, dear readers!