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2005: Yay/Nay

It’s the end of the year — time to make lists — and we have done this every year (2003, 2004), so I am not one to break with tradition: What were the highs and lows of design in 2005? All related fields are fair game, including art and architecture, product, textile, exhibit and web design, etc. Knock yourself out, live a little, make a list.

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PUBLISHED ON Dec.23.2005 BY Armin
Dado Queiroz’s comment is:

I guess the most memorable design event of the year, as far as I’m aware, was the end of Emigre magazine. It was really an emblematic event, stating clearly that the scene has changed and that financial success is now much more of a mistery than it was a decade or two ago. If you come to think that such a high quality product, done by such a talented person as mr. Vanderlans, was not even remotely sustainable on its own, it’s kind of scary, and completely delusioning, too. It’s an ironic step towards The End of Print. At least of the kind of print uncommited with the market -- this type of work seems to be almost completely restricted to the web now.

On Dec.23.2005 at 04:58 PM
pk’s comment is:

adobe and macromedia merger, led by sales. adobe's led by a salesperson now rather than someone with an eye fixed on creativity, so this feels like one more crap upgrade that none of us need.

additionally, adobe's never done online design tools well, so i don't see anything good coming from their ownership of macromedia's properties—unless they're finally admitting they should let someone else handle the web (and buying a division to do that).

either way, i still don't trust chizen one bit.

On Dec.23.2005 at 05:30 PM
Armin’s comment is:


1. Adrian Shaughnessy's How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul.

2. Emily King's Robert Brownjohn: Sex And Typography.

3. The best rebranding, given the nominees, I would say Sprint is the only winner.

4. Hottest new type foundry on the block: vllg.

5. 2005 AIGA National Conference podcasts.

6. New Speak Up authors Jimm Lasser and Jonathan Baldwin.


1. Um, that globe thing.

2. While the Contagious Media contest was amazing, the winner was utterly dissapointing — c'mon, ringtone dancer anyone? How contagious is that?!

3. The low number of posts on Typographica. (Sorry guys, you need to bring it on!).

More nays as the holiday cheer wears off.

On Dec.24.2005 at 09:38 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

I've very much enjoyed the typographer's resurgence in The New York Times Magazine. This week's cover (apparently not online yet) is beautiful and I look every week to see the new illustration used for William Safire's On Language column. I just wish all those illustrations were online so I could link to them...

On Dec.24.2005 at 11:09 AM
Stephen’s comment is:

3. The low number of posts on Typographica.

4. Not one Typographica article in 2005 from our favorite author, Armin Vit. When we lost Armin, we lost the will to post.

Just kidding. Our Favorite Fonts of 2005 will be up next week.

On Dec.24.2005 at 02:32 PM
Frank’s comment is:

Here's my list of web apps that have made the business side of life easier as a small design studio:

1. Project Management: Basecamp

2. Invoicing: BlinkSale

3. Group Notetaking: JotSpot and Writeboard

4. Website Statistics: Mint

5. Staying Organized: Backpack

6. Emailing bloated client files: You Send It

And my favorite design book (yes, I know it's a business book and 5 years old, but profound implications for design) of 2005: The Cluetrain Manifesto

Design work that touched my heart deeply: "Have I Missed You" from the compilation Singing to the Deaf by Paul Rustand

On Dec.24.2005 at 07:30 PM
Stephen’s comment is:

It's up.

On Dec.26.2005 at 03:12 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Uh oh. Frank has a bad case of Web 2.0itis.

As for web design, I guess that'd be this year's list:

Web design yays:

1. web 2.0

2. web 2.0

3. web 2.0

4. web 2.0

5. web 2.0

Web design nays:

1. web 2.0

2. web 2.0

3. web 2.0

4. web 2.0

5. web 2.0

On Dec.27.2005 at 10:22 AM
Andrew Twigg’s comment is:


By a long shot: Design Inquiry, an awesome graphic design workshop/seminar/symposium/intensive at Maine College of Art. I made some great friends and had the most amazing experience of my professional/personal graphic design life. It changed my relationship with graphic design.

On Dec.30.2005 at 09:11 AM
cat’s comment is:

There were so many highs and lows ...

I'll just mention the one as I was just going over the summary on my blog.

LOW - Discovering out how easy it is to get caught ripping off logos (LogoWorks saga).

HIGH - Watching the power of the design community when it banded together (if only for a short while) during the LW saga.


On Jan.01.2006 at 11:57 PM
big steve’s comment is:

I've been seeing the new Sprint logo sprout onto EVERY building recently here in los angeles... and I was hating on it because the "pindrop" is usually a large gaudy yellow fan (as opposed to the branded black logo on yellow background) but I definitely think it's an improvement over both original logos.

big-big No-No! 2005: Sony's faux urban lil kid PSP campaign (here and here). It's got all the street-cred irony of Jefferson Starship's We Built This City and is more Macromedia Flash than Futura2000.

Though not a logo or branding, i think one of the coolest things to really take off in 2005 was PostSecret. It's amazing to see regular people's tactile design sensibilities... and to see motivated design/art (far far away from Silverlate t-shirts and DTP applications).

On Jan.03.2006 at 03:55 PM
big steve’s comment is:

Oh yeah... and that new Intel logo?

I was never a big fan of the old one, but i think this one is even worse. Sorry.

On Jan.04.2006 at 05:40 AM