The Design Museum's Designs of the Year exhibition and awards scheme is an annual chance to look back at some of the best design work across graphics, digital, product, fashion and furniture – plus architecture and transport. This is year's selection range from the ornately beautiful to the disarmingly simple, and from engaging fun to truly touching social projects.
A 'best in class' award is given in each section, and there's an overall winner too – but I'm guessing that Thomas Heatherwick's Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympics has got that sown up. To my mind, the prize should really go to the Child Vision Glasses or Magic Arms – but that may be just the soppy dad in me coming out.
The Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition runs from March 20 to July 17 at the Design Museum's current home at Shad Thames on the South Bank, London. The museum will be moving to its new home at the old Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Kensington in 2014.
Here's our selection of our favourite projects. Regular Digital Arts readers should recognise many of them. Descriptions have been provided by the Design Museum.
Graphics: Adam Thirlwell: Kapow! by Studio Frith
Exploding with unfolding pages and multiple directional text, Kapow! is set in the thick of the Arab Spring, it is guided by the high-speed monologue of an unnamed narrator. Kapow! asks readers to open and unfold pages, to follow text leaking in and out of paragraphs, while progressively becoming part of and lost within the narrator’s thoughts.
Graphics: Austria Solar Annual Report by Serviceplan
Austria Solar teamed up with design group Serviceplan to create a beautiful and uniquely apt presentation of their annual report – printed with special ink that only materialises when exposed to the sun.
Graphics: Bauhaus: Art As Life Exhibition graphics by A Practice For Everyday Life
Situated in the Barbican Art Gallery, Bauhaus: Art as Life was the largest UK exhibition, to date, focusing on the iconic art school. Graphically, the design is informed by an awareness of the Bauhaus’ own principles of colour, structure and typography – painted walls and bold panels draw together objects, themes and ideas, and the typeface used throughout is a contemporary revival of the letterpress typeface used within the Bauhaus itself.
Graphics: The Gentlewoman #6 by Veronica Ditting
Jessica Fletcher/Grandma Angela Lansbury was the cover star for Issue 6 of The Gentlewoman. The issue gathered some of the most remarkable and captivating women in the world today.
Made In Los Angeles: Work by Colby Poster Printing Co by Anthony Burrill
Graphic artist Anthony Burrill raided the Colby archive to create a vibrant set of prints, revisiting the very best of their past work.
Graphics: Occupied Times of London by Tzortzis Rallis and Lazaros Kakoulidis
For the Occupied Times of London, Tzortzis Rallis and Lazaros Kakoulidis who used Barnbrook's VirusFonts typeface for the large intro caps to their features and then PF Din Mono, designed by Panos Vassiliou as the main body copy face.
Graphics: Organic by Kapitza
At the cutting edge of contemporary pattern design, Organic provides a fantastic source of inspiration for creative’s working in the fields of illustration, graphic design, animation, fashion, textiles, interiors and digital design. Organic is Kapitza’s second book project featuring 200 dazzling, previously unpublished artworks.
Graphics: Zumtobel Annual Report by Brighten the Corners and Anish Kapoor
Design studio Brighten the Corners collaborate with artist Anish Kapoor to create this two-volume publication: one book containing the facts and figures for the year, the other a printed version of a 1998 video piece by the artist. Brighten the Corners uses Kapoor's video projection, Wounds and Absent Objects, as the starting point for the commission which, unusually, meant designing a text-only volume with graphic elements that link to the Kapoor work and a lavish colour publication (above), which sees a rainbow of hues bursting from the centre of the spreads and features ten neon colours.