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Creative round-up January 2024

2024 has kicked off with an interesting mix of design and branding news. Here is a selection from the last month that has caught the eyes of the Ingenious team…

New branding for Race for Life

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) have introduced an updated look and feel for their annual Race for Life (RfL) events with the theme ‘Life is worth Racing for’. Designed to motivate more people to take part, the new branding focuses on personal stories about the impact of RfL on the outcomes of people affected by cancer as a result of research funded by the event. This aligns more closely with the wider CRUK brand which aims to raise awareness of the charity’s purpose and impact by connecting its scientific and research breakthroughs with what they mean for cancer patients.

More than 10 million people have taken part in RfL since it was established in 1991 and last year’s series of events raised £33 million. During this time there has been incredible progress in cancer survival which would not have been possible without the contributions of RfL supporters.

CRUK worked with MATTA on the new brand strategy, positioning and visual identity which includes updated logo, brand colours, typeface and tone of voice and will be seen across TV, radio, OOH and digital platforms.

New design trends for 2024

There are lots of exciting design trends to look out for in 2024 including a focus on inclusive and accessible visuals, AI-enhanced design practices, fresh colour palettes and innovative fonts as well as a playful splash of nostalgia.

Inclusivity in design is vital for reaching wider audiences. Reflecting the true diversity of the world around us, visuals incorporating a broad spectrum of race, ethnicity, gender, age, ability and body type resonate with diverse audiences. In turn, adoption of accessible high contrast colour combinations and bold typography that meet WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) requirements ensure designs are readily visible for individuals with low vision and colour blindness.

AI-enhanced techniques such as automated image resizing, background removal and colour correction free designers from more tedious tasks to focus on the big picture creative elements. Retro pixel art is making a comeback with blocky, game-inspired elements infused with a modern twist, together with nature-inspired aesthetics reflecting a growing emphasis on mindfulness and wellbeing.

Worldwide design events 2024

There are hundreds of amazing design events taking place all across the world in 2024! You could literally go to a different place each month for a festival featuring a mixture of exhibitions, installations, open studios and talks. From Dubai to Sao Paulo, Iceland to Shanghai, Melbourne to Lagos to New York – the choice is endless!

A little closer to home, Milan Design Week is the largest design event in the world and runs from 15-21 April. 3 Days of Design takes place in Copenhagen from 12-14 June and London Design Festival from 14-22 September.

Check out a list of design event highlights around the world here

New identity for Reddit

Design studio Pentagram has rebranded social media platform Reddit with refreshed logo and typefaces and streamlined colour palette. The main goal was to organise and unify Reddit’s many visual elements which have grown organically over time. Led by Pentagram partner Natasha Jen, the brand’s alien mascot Snoo has been rendered in 3D and emojis have been created using the character’s face. Colourful bubbles have been created to consolidate the varied styles that comprise conversation threads, with wraparound titles, tags and other features providing common visual elements.

A new typeface was crafted for the website with rounded lowercase letters cleverly incorporating small conversation bubbles and the old colour palette of over 100 different colours has been honed down to fifteen bold bright hues. The changes aim to reflect Reddit’s unique brand attributes and capture its ‘utopian ethos’.

Best Art Vinyl Awards 2023

On January 11, PJ Harvey’s tenth album won the 2023 Best Art Vinyl Award (BAVA). Recent sales figures suggest reports of the ‘death of vinyl’ to be greatly exaggerated and for the last eighteen years these awards have recognised physical album sleeves with a winner picked by an expert panel of judges from a shortlist of fifty nominees.

The deceptively simple design of I Inside the Old Year Dying by PJ Harvey was created by artist and university lecturer Michell Henning. The striking composition and apparent simplicity of a single branch casting a shadow on a beach was the result of months of preparation, perfect weather conditions and a combination of multiple images and techniques.

In second place was the debut studio album from US soul trio Gabriels, Angels & Queens featuring black and white photography by Melodie McDaniel and third was Mat Maitland’s cover for Sub Focus’s fifth album, Evolve. The winners and shortlisted designs were displayed throughout January at the Hari hotel, London.

A floating swimming pool for New York

Testing begins in New York City this summer on +Pool, a floating swimming pool for New York’s waterways. Designed by LA-based studio Play Lab Inc, the cross-shaped pool will filter pollutants from the surrounding water through its walls without use of chemicals or additives and provide public swimming for New Yorkers. Capable of cleaning 1,000,000 gallons of water per day, branches of the cross design are adaptable and can be reconfigured for lap swimming, lounging and watersports. The four sections can be used independently or combined to form an Olympic-length or 9000 square foot pool. After the pilot test this summer, the pool is expected to open for swimmers in summer 2025.

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