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Editor’s Column

As proof of the growing global reach of our design competition, we received entries from 52 countries this year­—a new record for us. When we asked jurors about their general impressions of this year’s entries, they commented on the international makeup of the submissions and the strong showing of work in the motion graphic and student work categories.
Go to Jurors Biographies

“It was interesting to see the different focuses across the disciplines as well as the impact of having a truly global set of entries,” says juror Jonathan Brodie. “You couldn’t wish for a greater mix. It really kept me on my toes as a judge.”

“I was thoroughly impressed by the breadth of work, topics and sectors,” juror Julie Vander Herberg says.

“My overall impression of this competition was that the works are very excellent,” says juror XiongBo Deng. “It wasn’t so much about me selecting; it was more about me learning.”

“Many designs took on social issues and applied design solutions to publicizing them, taking an ethical stand or even trying to solve an issue in a practical manner,” juror Eurydyka Kata says.

“I have a sense of what people in other parts of the world are concerned with, but I gained a deeper understanding of how some communities are being plagued by social issues, as well as the initiatives and programs that were developed to create awareness and promote social justice,” says juror Sharon Oiga.

Several judges commented specifically on the strength of the student work.

“It was a surprise to see so many nice student entries in motion, some with detailed and complex animations,” juror Renata Alcantara says.

“The quality of design and craft within the student entries blew me away, [particularly with] their motion design,” says Brodie. “The storytelling felt mature and sophisticated. The future is definitely bright.”

“I was surprised by the number of amazing student animation and motion graphic entries,” juror Jon Key says. “Really exciting to see the future of title graphics and movie titles—refined and sophis- ticated examples inspired by contemporary motion graphics with glimpses of new shifts and clever remixing of the expected.”

“Owing to my other job as an educator, I paid special attention to student entries and was really impressed with many of them,” says Kata. “They showed a level of attention, creativity and involvement that does credit to their teaching institutions and makes me think my hopes for the profession are well-founded.”

I asked the judges what innovative work they saw this year.

“There’s a lot of great work happening in the craft beer industry,” juror Rob Duncan says.

“It was exciting to see works that utilize the latest in technology—various forms of XR and AI-generated content—in creative ways,” says Oiga.

“There are interesting integrations between AR/VR and traditional formats emerging,” Brodie says. “I expect to see more and more of these in the coming years.”

“The strength and balance of the ideation and documentation,” says Vander Herberg. “The ideas presented were multifaceted and thorough, and the supporting documentation was extremely innovative and exciting.” 

I also asked jurors what their biggest disappointments were with this year’s entries.

“I expected to see more sustainable entries,” Alcantara says.

“A lack of ideas and surprising moments,” says Duncan. “There was a lot of very generic graphic design.”

“It would have been good to see more focus on the idea overall,” Brodie says. “Simple, cut-through work with a powerful, engaging idea is always the goal, so it’s no surprise these are hard to find!”

“Mockup templates were used profusely to present work,” says Oiga. “While they indeed help to make projects appear polished and professional, their ubiquitous use—along with the perfect or sterile appearance of many of these templates—added a generic, homogenous quality to the work. The feeling is similar to looking at stock photography.”

Looking forward, I asked the jurors what business, cultural and social developments will alter the role of design in the future.

“Working from home is reducing the level of creativity,” says Duncan. “Design cannot happen in a vacuum. Ideas happen best when people are all in the same space, collaborating with each other in person. The best ideas strike at the most unexpected moments, not over a scheduled Zoom meeting. If Steve Jobs and Jony Ive were working remotely, Apple wouldn’t be half the company it is today.”

“The secondary utilization or minimi-zation of factors, such as materials during the design process, will have a more profound impact on future design work,” Deng says. “Pollution and waste are still huge issues in current commercial design.”

“Design won’t fix the world by itself, but it should do its part by helping those who are making important changes—and maybe refraining from supporting those who harm everyone,” says Kata.

“Technological advancements constantly shift the way we approach and produce design,” juror Nathan Hill says. “The rise of AI, AR, VR and other emerging technologies requires designers to adapt and incorporate these tools into their creative processes. The questions of how and where are curious ones.”

Lastly, I asked jurors where they think the design industry is headed.

“I believe motion is a big trend in design,” says Alcantara. “Soon almost every image will be animated.”

“Motion is continuing to expand rapidly into new areas,” Brodie says. “We can probably expect most traditional static forms of com-munication to have an interactive potential or alternative in the near future. Hopefully this added emphasis on functional design won’t come at the sacrifice of powerful engaging ideas.”

“I believe [the Apple] Vision Pro will bring changes that we can’t even imagine,” says Alcantara. “Technology is what always pushes design forward.”

“Integrating technology will continue to produce innovative ideas and impact the way we approach design and arrive at solutions,” Hill says. “Our continued focus on human-centered design method-ologies will undoubtedly lead to better products and services that will be more intuitive and inclusive to end users. Another influential evolution in the field is within cross-disciplinary collaboration. As this continues to become an ever-present part of the design practice, the blurring between different disciplines will enable designers and thinkers from various backgrounds to better tackle complex solutions together.”

“Without a doubt, AI will have the biggest impact on the future of design,” says Vander Herberg.

“My hope is that the role of an individual designer—their sensitivities and abilities—will be recognized for their importance,” Kata says.

“After a hopefully brief period of fascination with AI as a creator—which makes little sense—it will probably go back to being the tool it should be: to be used with discernment by people who take control and responsibility for the final result of their creation, formed with whatever tools they choose.”

“Design is moving more into motion, digital and AI-supported models,” says Key. “Technology, as we all know, has completely changed the way we work and communicate, but the rise of hyper-efficient beings will change the role of the human graphic designer. I wonder: Will the design world push back and create organic, human-centered design objects? Will tactility reign again over the sleek screen? Probably not.”

“Design is moving simultaneously towards the technological and the analog,” Oiga says. “As much as designers embrace technology, there is an equal reaction to tech that causes other designers to embrace the crafty, handmade and lo-tech—perhaps as a way to evoke authenticity, experimentation, warmth and humanity, or a simpler time.”

A minimum of six out of ten votes was required for a project to be awarded in this year’s competition. Judges were not permitted to vote on projects with which they were directly involved; I voted in their stead. I would like to extend our grateful appreciation to our jurors for their conscientious efforts in selecting our 64th Design Annual. —Patrick Coyne ca

Jurors Biographies
Renata Alcantara
founder and creative director
Nata Design

Renata Alcantara is the founder and creative director of Nata Design in São Paulo, Brazil. She has worked for design studios and ad agencies with high-profile clients, such as Mercedes-Benz, Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool. Although she won a Cannes Lion in 2009, Alcantara missed developing ideas in a deeper and more lasting manner. In 2016, she launched Nata Design to focus on packaging and branding. She loves having the time to apply strategic thinking and attention to detail to her clients’ brands. In 2022, her Easter packaging for Danke Cacau received an award of excellence from Communication Arts and a gold in the Brasil Design Awards.

Jonathan Brodie
design director
Design Bridge and Partners

Jonathan Brodie is a design director at Design Bridge and Partners in London, United Kingdom. With more than twelve years of experience creating brand identities for a wide range of clients—including Arte, Cancer Research UK, Elliptic, Intel, O2, Shakespeare’s Globe and Shelter—Brodie passionately believes in the power of strong ideas to make a positive impact on the world. His work has been celebrated across a number of international creative competitions, including D&AD and Cannes. In 2015, he led the redesign of the seminal design classic A Smile in the Mind, which became a bestseller on Amazon.

Katie Daniels
creative director
Turner Classic Movies

Katie Daniels is creative director for Turner Classic Movies—a role she was born to play. As a preschooler, she responded to design and wasn’t shy about sharing assessments when something had fallen short. In high school, she led art classes for fellow students since there was no formal program. In 25 years of design, Daniels has worked with multiple media brands, including HBO Max, TBS and TNT. Her work has won Promax awards, CLIOs and many other industry honors. She is inspired by the past while embracing technology. When not designing, you’ll find her restoring her family’s 150-year-old home, manning her antique presses or patiently stirring roux.

XiongBo Deng
founder and creative director
Lingyun Creative

XiongBo Deng is the founder and creative director of Lingyun Creative in Shenzhen, China. Deng started working in packaging design and branding in 2010 after graduating from Hunan University of Technology’s School of Packaging Design and Arts. He founded Lingyun Creative in 2013, specializing in brand strategy development, brand positioning, brand design, product design, packaging design, interactive design and digital marketing design. Deng’s work has been recognized by the ADC Annual Awards, Communication Arts, Core77 Design Awards, D&AD, Dieline Awards, Graphis, IDEA, iF Design Awards, The One Show, Pentawards, Red Dot Awards and Topawards Asia, among many others.

Rob Duncan
partner and creative director

Rob Duncan is a partner and creative director of Mucho’s San Francisco office. He began his career at the renowned UK agency Mytton Williams. In 2000, he joined Pentagram’s London office, where he worked on John Rushworth’s team. In 2003, he relocated to Pentagram’s San Francisco office, where he led numerous design programs. In 2007, he became an art director on Apple’s Retail and Events team. In 2013, Duncan founded Mucho’s San Francisco office, where he continues to lead his design team, working with multinational corporations, startups, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and family-owned businesses.

Nathan Hill
Spaeth Hill

Nathan Hill is cofounder of Spaeth Hill, an experiential branding firm in Washington, DC. His design projects include identity, publications, furniture, art installations and branding for the built environment. He holds a BFA in graphic design from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, where he served as an adjunct instructor from 2010 to 2020. From 2011 to 2018, he served on the AIGA DC Board of Directors as education chair. Hill continues to explore visual art through his self-initiated project äntrepō, an award-winning publication concerned with new and evolving methods of art and design driven by experimental thinking and practice.

Eurydyka Kata
graphic designer, educator and a cofounder
re:design studio

Eurydyka Kata is a graphic designer, educator and a cofounder with her husband Rafał Szczawiński of re:design studio in Gdynia, Poland. She designs identities, information systems and illustrated posters for a wide range of clients, with a special passion reserved for books. Her book designs have won multiple international awards. Kata received a PhD for her thesis on the form and meaning of material typography, and she teaches Introduction to Graphic Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. Kata is fascinated by the creation of meaning through visual forms, which remains the subject of her studies and the core of her teaching syllabus.

Jon Key
Morcos Key

Jon Key is cofounder with Wael Morcos of the Brooklyn-based design studio Morcos Key. After receiving his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Key began his design career at Grey Advertising in New York City before moving on to HBO, Nickelodeon and The Public Theater. As an educator, Key has taught at Maryland Institute College of Art and Parsons and currently teaches at Cooper Union and School of Visual Arts. Key is also a cofounder and design director of Codify Art, a multidisciplinary collective dedicated to creating, producing, supporting and showcasing work by women, queer and trans artists of color.

Sharon Oiga
designer, professor and chair of graphic design
University of Illinois Chicago’s School of Design

Sharon Oiga is a designer, professor and chair of graphic design at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)’s School of Design. Her work is consistently recognized through awards, publications and exhibitions. She was also honored to receive the UIC Silver Circle Teaching Award. Additionally, she heads up a creative collaboration—Sharon and Guy—with cofounder Guy Villa Jr. Oiga earned BFA degrees in graphic design and photography from UIC and an MFA in graphic design from Yale University. She serves on the boards of the Chicago Design Archive and the Society of Typographic Aficionados/TypeCon as well as on the council of Diversify by Design.

Julie Vander Herberg
creative director and founder

Julie Vander Herberg is a creative director and founder of Vanderbrand, a Toronto-based independent creative agency with a focus on brand identity, design and art direction. With more than a decade of leadership experience, Vander Herberg aligns her agency with progressive ideas and products. She has worked with some of the world’s leading companies, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Oxford Properties, Sapsucker and Studio Gang. Vander Herberg has been recognized by numerous international competitions and has been featured in renowned publications including AIGA Eye on Design, Creative Boom, Dieline, Taschen and Victionary.


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