A look at the design world in 2017

Chances are there's something design related that catches your eye nearly every single day. Whether it’s the new look of a well known high street brand, the launch of a new documentary or the rebrand of a country, there’s a constant stream of exciting projects that the world of design has a relation too.

Keeping on top of who’s done the latest rebrand for who is a job within itself but it’s an exciting time that we’re living in, outside of all the hurrah with American politics of course, and design is always at the forefront of this.

We’ve taken a look at three design-related projects that have caught our eye in the past week but this in itself is just a drop in the ocean of what we could of included.


When it comes to the creation of new branding, we’d say that being tasked with new branding for a whole country is surely one of the highest accolades there is within the design world and that’s exactly the job that Cardiff-based consultancy Smörgåsbord were given.

Smörgåsbord were commissioned by the Welsh government to give Wales a new national brand that would “do the country justice” and to stop it being “eclipsed” by other UK countries.

A red dragon – previously used for Wales’ tourism arm Visit Wales – has been replaced with a flatter, graphic representation of a dragon which aims to better reflect the red dragon seen on the Welsh flag. This is to be used across Wales’ tourism, business, and food and drink sectors.

Along with this red dragon there’s a new sans-serif typeface, as well as a new colour palette based on photos from photographers that Smörgåsbord commissioned to shoot Welsh urban and rural landscapes.

From these pictures the designers colour-picked shades on Photoshop and used them to create a palette, and the colours have then been named after Welsh places.

Following a soft launch of the branding in 2016 as part of the Wales Year of Adventure, the branding has now been rolled out further and since this there has been a 30% increase in Visit Wales’ social media followers, five million unique visitors to the Visit Wales website and North Wales even featured in Lonely Planet’s guide.

The new branding is now rolling out across online and marketing materials for all of Visit Wales, Business Wales and Food & Drink Wales. It will be used across a new advertising campaign that will launch on March 1st and to be applied to signage and graphics to be used at public events. 

Abstract: The Art of Design

This week Netflix will debut a brand new documentary series titled Abstract: The Art of Design. The show is an exploration of the world’s leading designers and will highlight individual designers’ work and methodology.

Their will be eight episodes in the series and it will focus on eight designers from different disciplines that include: graphic design, illustration, photography, architecture, interior design, set design, shoe design and automobile design.

Featured in the series are some pretty huge names in each category, this includes Nike’s Tinker Hatfield - he's behind the designs of numerous pairs of Air Jordans and the Nike Mags - the famous trainers from the Back To The Future films.

There's also Ralph Gilles, Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler and Es Devlin, a stage designer who worked on the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony as well as the Watch The Throne tour design for Kanye West and Jay-Z.

Scott Dadich, creator and Editor-in-Chief of WIRED, acts as executive producer for the project, and he’s hoping that: “If we’ve done it right, ‘Abstract’ will help you understand the future by seeing the intent behind the objects that surround us—and the beauty in the decisions that led to them.”

The first episode of Abstract was premiered last month, on January 21, at the Sundance Film Festival, and will premiere on Netflix on February 10.


Finally, we’ve taken a look at the new rebrand of Carling that has been carried out by consultancy BrandOpus. They’ve created a new logo for Carling, that has the aim of giving the lager brand a “simpler” identity.

The new branding sees Carling’s long running slanted logotype swapped out for a straight one, coupled with the use of a new typeface and the addition of a slanted black label on the top - this slant is a reference to Carling Black Label, the original name for the brand’s lager from it’s inception in the 1950s.

It’s been six years since Carling was last rebranded and the new design is looking to be rolled out from March across the whole Carling range, that includes Cider, Citrus Twist and Premier alongside their Original Lager, with the aim of making the whole brand more consistent.

It’s a striking new design for the lager company and a timely, fresh update but if there’s one point to raise with it, is that it’s a little similar to that of Bulmers Cider - especially the cider strand of the new Carling design. What do you think?


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