Designs Of The Year: Inspiration for your marketing projects

Designs of the Year exhibition posters

Russ Welch

Lead Creative

Posted on November 9, 2018

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your upcoming financial marketing projects then taking a look at what is happening outside of the financial sector can often be the spark you need.

And what better place to start than the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year show? Now in its eleventh year, DOTY is a celebration of the most original and exciting design developments in the world today.

To whet your appetite, here’s a brief overview of the sort of design projects that you can expect to find.

Environmental concerns lead the way

For a practice that is often seen as being decorative and superficial, the first thing that strikes you about this year’s show is how many of the 87 nominated projects eschew these traits, instead responding to environmental issues.

Key to this is the development of new materials, including a new polymer that is processed from algae. The polymer can then be 3D printed into a variety of objects (shown below), proposing a more sustainable model for production and a potential replacement for non-biodegradable plastics.

Algae polymer vases

Shown below is a vase made from another new material, developed from native Mexican corn husks. As well as having great colours and texture, this new material provides indigenous farmers with an additional source of income—encouraging them to continue growing native corn, instead of genetically modified strands, thus preserving the region’s biodiversity.

Mexican corn husks

Designed to save lives

Another interesting aspect to the show is a selection of projects that improve healthcare in developing countries and remote areas – such as an operating theatre that fits into a backpack and a device that enables healthcare workers with no optometry training to perform eye tests.

One particularly ingenious idea utilises a whirligig toy to perform blood tests – spinning biological samples at thousands of revolutions per minute, separating pure plasma from whole blood.

This is a critical step in the diagnosis of infections such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. The device costs just 20 cents, weighs two grammes and can easily be carried in a doctors pocket, making point-of-care diagnostics possible virtually anywhere.

Some more traditional fare

Among the other nominations are some more traditional marketing campaign and design projects, including a visual identity for the Czech railway system; a ‘Lioness’ logo for the Dutch women’s football team; and a 75 metre long, hand-cut hoarding to mark the opening of Taiwan’s first Apple store.

Apple store detail

Apple store detail

Overall, the exhibition is teeming with ideas and inspiration so go along and see what piques your interest. Whilst there you can also cast your vote to nominate your favourite design of the year.

And if you have a germ of an idea for a financial marketing campaign that you’d like to discuss and develop then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

Who knows? If the idea is big and bold enough, you could even be in next year’s show.

Beazley Designs of the Year is at the Design Museum in High Street Kensington until 6 January 2019.

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