CR Annual: graphics picks

Over the next week, we will be posting about our judges’ choices for this year’s CR Annual, discussing the decisions and picking out some highlights. First up, graphic design

Over the next week, we will be posting about our judges’ choices for this year’s CR Annual, discussing the decisions and picking out some highlights. First up, our graphic design selections

The Annual is Creative Review’s juried showcase of the best work of the past 12 months. This year’s Annual is out now, published in our double May issue. The chosen work is shown according to the month in which it was launched with the exception of our Best in Book section containing the judges’ choices of the best of show.

I was one of the judges looking at graphic design projects this year, alongside Marina Willer of Pentagram, Greg Quinton of The Partners, Andy Altmann of Why Not Associates and Violetta Boxill of Alexander Boxill.

When we judge the Annual, the first stage is for all the judges to look at all the work, then pick out the projects they think are at least worthy of further discussion. From that ‘shortlist’ we whittle things down through discussion to a final selection and then, from that, choose our Best in Books. We don’t specify how many projects must be chosen – if it’s good enough, it’s in.

If a judge has a piece of work entered, they have to leave the room while it is being discussed and are not allowed to vote or otherwise influence the other members. This was a factor in our first Best in Book, the Comedy Carpet (shown top and below), as Andy Altmann was a judge.

There’s always a point in any judging session where someone says ‘hang on, is this really that good’? We had that moment with the Comedy Carpet but the resounding response from the other judges was a very clear ‘yes’. Strangely, the Comedy Carpet did not even make it into the D&AD Annual this year, never mind win a pencil, but we felt that it deserved our highest recognition because of a number of factors – its craft, its attention to detail, its sheer scale and ambition and the fact that here was a piece of graphic design that was destined not for some other designer’s bookshelf but that was going to be enjoyed by millions.

One of our other Best in Book choices will also have a very public impact – Rejane Dal Bello‘s identity for the Tony Molleapaza Rojas children’s hospital in Peru.

The hospital was funded by a Dutch NGO, Paz Holandesa, hence the involvement of Dutch-based Dal Bello who did the identity on a pro bono basis. The judges were charmed by the icons which represent Tony Molleapaza Rojas, an 11 year-old boy who died in 2005 and whom the hospital is named after, and various members of staff.

Our one concern was whether the project was ‘for real’ or still just a concept. But we checked wioth the designerwho was able to provide documentary evidence that the hospital is open and her identity is in place.

Less public, but notheless beautifully done, was Love’s special edition series of Johnnie Walker whisky bottles, illustrated by Chris Martin, which the judges felt were superbly crafted.


Elsewhere in The Annual, the work selected runs the full gamut of large and small firms, work from the well-known and people we had never previously heard of, and an impressive geographical spread with selected entries from Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere.

We had quite a bit of debate over this pregnancy testing kit by Eduardo Del Fraile for Spanish brand Interapothek. While everyone liked the cleanliness of its design, there was some debate over whether people would feel comfortable buying such a personal product with such explicit packaging. After much back and forth it went in on a majority decision.

We also had quite a debate over venturethree’s Little Chef rebrand. As frequently happens, judges liked some parts of the project more than others. We also touched on another common awards show debate – that juries tend to favour beautiful projcts fro small clients while not always appreciating the difficulties of doing more mainstream work that may not be 100% successful but which nonetheless represents a major achievement in context. For a client like Little Chef, we felt that this was a really major step forward.

Other work involved more straightforward decisions. Everyone loved the tactile screenprinted Falcon enamelware packaging, for example


The Brixton Pound by This Ain’t Rock and Roll


Leftloft’s posters for Inter Milan (more here)


The Playtype concept store in Copenhagen


Boat magazine’s Detroit issue


The Chase‘s Almost Extinct calendar


GBH‘s lenticular Thunderbirds stamps

And these graphics by Bond for the Finnish Sport Federation’s car park


There were lots more great projects in our section not shown here – check out the May issue of CR to see them all. YOu can aslo view all the Best in Book projects on the CR iPad app (details below). We will post on the selected advertising and interactive projects in the coming days.

Full details on the Creative Review Annual 2012, in association with Bigstock, here


CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here

CR in Print
The May issue of Creative Review is the biggest in our 32-year history, with over 200 pages of great content. This speial double issue contains all the selected work for this year’s Annual, our juried showcase of the finest work of the past 12 months. In addition, the May issue contains features on the enduring appeal of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, a fantastic interview with the irrepressible George Lois, Rick Poynor on the V&A’s British Design show, a preview of the controversial new Stedelijk Museum identity and a report from Flatstock, the US gig poster festival. Plus, in Monograph this month, show our subcribers around the pick of Barcelona’s creative scene.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

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