26 HELLO PESKIMO
From unique superheroes to video-game characters, and on to monkeys and kittens, Peskimo makes its name in character creation in 2004. As well as creating its own line of vinyl toy characters with the likes of Kid Robot, it springboards onto some pretty high-profile illustration work. It also creates its own line of screenprinted artworks and creates the art elements of an app for the Tate Modern.
27 IT’S NICE THAT IS NICE
Prior to appearing in our 2007 Graduate Showcase, Alex Bec teams up with Will Hudson to found one of today’s best-loved daily design blogs, It’s Nice That. It becomes a design publishing company in its own right.
28 WHALE TRAIL BY USTWO
Collaborating with Super Furry Animal, Gruff Rhys, the digital creatives at ustwo bound from the design scene into gaming with their Whale Trail app in 2011. With Rhys providing the song and lyrics, ustwo shoots the video to promote the app it designed.
29 PHOTOSHOP 4 GETS LAYERS
A whole new style of carefully honed and textured digital illustration is already quietly developing when Photoshop 4 arrives in November 1996, bringing with it Adjustment layers. With filters, they offer new ways of generating unique atmospheres in complex images.
30 FONTLAB 3 FOR MAC LAUNCHED
In 1998, FontLab 3 becomes the dominant typeface design package almost by default. Macromedia had just stopped developing Fontographer, which was acquired by FontLab in 2005. Today, FontLab can be used to create fonts with up to 64,000 characters.
31 MYSPACE REBRANDS TO MY________
Remember when Myspace reigned supreme, with millions of users creating their own online profiles, sharing their tastes in music, fashion and design? It was even a popular platform for illustration and design portfolios, but its decline has been steep since Facebook arrived. It rebrands in October 2010.
32 THE PERVERSE OPTIMIST
In May 1999 Tibor Kalman passes away, aged just 49. The following September a fantastic tribute to him is published, co-edited and designed by Pentagram partner Michael Bierut. Its 420 pages cover the Hungarian designer’s thoughts on magazine design, video production, typography and more.
33 LUKE HAYMAN JOINS NEW YORK MAG
Joining New York magazine as design director in 2004, Luke Hayman follows in the footsteps of Milton Glaser, who oversaw the publication’s heyday in the 1970s. Hayman later joins Pentagram, where he works on the redesign of Time magazine.
34 COUDAL PARTNERS STARTS LAYER TENNIS
Coudal Partners’ Layer Tennis, which combines collaboration, creativity and competition, has the design world buzzing in 2001. Given certain visual resources and 15 minutes per volley, two Photoshop users can bat an image back and forth to each other online, with fans voting on the winner.
35 NIKE RUNS AWAY WITH BETTER WORLD
Wieden+Kennedy’s online designers break the code barrier in 2010 with the Better World site for Nike. Its impressive use of parallax scrolling effects results in a more engaging user experience using HTML5.
36 VINCE FROST RELEASES FROST*
At 500 pages in length, Vince Frost apologises to the trees after launching a book looking back on his greatest design achievements, in 2006. Previously an associate director at Pentagram in London, he had launched Frost Design in Australia in 2004.
37 CUT IT OUT, JEN STARK
American creative Jen Stark has a huge influence on the handmade design trend in 2005 with her paper sculpture displays. Made from layers of paper, they develop into colourful topographic forms, inspiring thousands of artists around the world.
38 QUARKXPRESS 4.0 SHOWS OFF ITS CURVES
QuarkXPress is king of the hill when it comes to DTP in 1997, with version 4 introducing Bezier curves and freehand vector tools for creating lines, shapes and text paths, plus clipping paths for picture elements.
39 HAVIV JOINS CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR
The New York identity design duo Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar bring some fresh blood into the organisation in 2003 by hiring Sagi Haviv, who has been learning their design secrets, and introduces motion and digital skills to their repertoire.
40 BINGO GETS A HATE ON
Illustrator Mr Bingo’s 2011 ‘Hate Mail’ project goes down a treat, earning plenty of exposure. It’s simple enough – punters send him £10 and their address, and he draws something on an old postcard, writes an offensive message and mails it to them.
41 ARE YOU GOING TO OFFF?
The Online Flash Film Festival is one of the most influential creative events there is, and has shifted in its focus from digital design to culture in general. Joshua Davis will attend the Barcelona event for the 10th year running this year.
42 CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
With this eye-catching retro homage, Kuntzel+Deygas take its motion graphics skills back to the 1960s, innovating not just with silhouette shapes, linework and modernist type, but with subtle textures too, in the 2002 titles to Spielberg’s biopic of conman Frank Abagnale Jr, Catch Me if You Can.
43 CAN VIDEO GAMES LOOK HANDMADE?
The answer is yes. Designer and director Rex Crowle comes from a background in gaming with Lionhead Studios, and helps make 2008’s LittleBigPlanet feel as textured as a Brothers Quay animation, with a lot of fun level designing thrown in for good measure.
44 ITUNES APP STORE
Apple’s iPhone and its apps give designers plenty of scope to try new things, helping evolve the way people interact with their phones, games, media channels and each other. The App Store, a fulcrum for these developments, launches in 2008.
45 EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
Bristol street artist Banksy brings his ironic creative wit to the big screen in January 2010, directing a film that premiers at the Sundance festival. It follows a French street-art lover in the US as he tracks down the anonymous artist and ends up befriending him.
46 PLAY WITH THE CODE
Paul Neave launches Neave.com in 1999 as an experimental playground where he can test out projects using ever-new types of code, from ActionScript through to HTML5 and beyond. It’s riddled with interactive toys that he has made, and some impressive client work too.
47 WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE
Part of the Hipgnosis art and design group famous for its work with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in the 1960s and 1970s, Storm Thorgerson continues to bring his bold and eye-catching imagery to contemporary bands. In 1999 he creates the Bury the Hatchet cover for The Cranberries, and in 2001 he does three different covers for their album Wake up and Smell the Coffee.
48 A GAP IN THE LOGIC
It’s a tumbleweed moment when Gap unveils a new logo in 2010. Customers revolt using Facebook and Twitter to let the clothing company know what they think. The stock exchange catches wind of this, and shares in Gap dip. Designers, meanwhile, say the graphic looks like something made using the free tools that came with Windows 97. The old logo comes back.
49 MUSIC, DESIGN AND LEMON JELLY
With some decent software and internet access, any designer can be multidisciplinary. The iconic studio Airside and electronic band Lemon Jelly sum this up, with designer and musician Fred Deakin being a member of both the studio and band. The band makes great music and the studio matches that with fantastic visuals, notably for the 2000 album Lemonjelly.ky.
50 THE DAVID HOCKNEY IDENTITY
Arguably Britain’s greatest living artist, David Hockney has a worldwide reputation for his pop art abstracts and landscape paintings. For his January 2012 show A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, Pentagram’s Harry Pearce uses a behind-the-scenes image of Hockney finishing off a mural on the banners and billboard posters for the event.