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5

Posted on April 18th 2011

Creative Times recently asked me to put together a Design Top 5, made up of recent examples of contemporary design that I think are worthy of praise. The top 5 list is changed on a weekly basis with a different designer’s choice. The idea is that selections provide both a snapshot of contemporary design and an idea of where the particular contributor is creatively at the time of writing.

I thought I’d share my choices on here. As you can see, I’ve taken the term design quite loosely.

1. Photography by Dan Tobin-Smith
I love the work of still life photographer Dan Tobin-Smith. You can only marvel at the effort that goes to in setting up his images, and that’s before you even consider the actual photographic craftsmanship of his work. His compositions have an elegant graphic quality, they are rich with texture, often being littered with objects, while at the same time maintaining a beautiful simplicity.

2. Manifesto Project
This website, which accompanies a travelling exhibition and book, collects the manifestos of a selection of leading international designers including the likes of Sagmeister, Gill, Rams, Glaser and Vignelli. The project offers a one-stop insight into the different processes and constraints that these practitioners have applied to their work.

3. The Incident at Tower 37
I’m a big fan of animated CGI films, and I’ve enjoyed watching the industry develop over the last 15 years or so. This 10 minute animated film, written and directed by Chris Perry (formally of Pixar) and produced by students at Hampshire College, was released on World Water Day at the end of March. It highlights issues about water consumption and the effect it has on the planet.

4. Wim Crouwel: A Grephic Odyssey at the Design Museum (Until 3rd of July)
I recently visited the Crouwel Show, and was lucky enough to see the prolific Dutch designer talk about his career. I’m sure most designers will be familiar with Crouwel’s work, but there’s a magic to seeing his posters, catalogues and stamps up close. And being able to admire his precision and craft but also spot the slight imperfections in his typographic and grid based work. Definitely worth a visit.

5. Last Minutes with Oden
This emotional short film documents the final hours of Jason and his dog Oden’s life together. Technically this film is excellent, beautifully shot on a Canon 7D with fitting music. But it’s the human story that really makes this piece great. It’s a bit of a tear-jerker and a worthy winner of the Vimeo Awards.

View the article on the Creative Times website.

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