Studio of the Year

It’s a three-way tie for design studio of the year, with Music, Pentagram and Why Not Associates all sharing the honour of having the most entries chosen for the Annual this year

Why Not Associates
Two television projects from Why Not Associates helped them to prominence this year. Unseen Gaza, a trail for the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary strand, is one of our Best in book projects. A solid rectangle fills almost the entire screen. Behind it, the viewer may just glimpse news footage of military action, but is denied the whole picture. Why Not’s other film project promotes the Today programme, BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme, in which David Attenborough explains his approach over images of an animated sketchbook. A rather different project completes Why Not’s Annual presence this year: Word Trees. This is the latest in the studio’s collaborations with artist Gordon Young. In it, a series of tree trunks was installed in a new library in Crawley, West Sussex. Each had a literary quote carved into its surface.

Below: From Word Trees, Why Not Associates’ latest collaboration with artist Gordon Young.

Pentagram features on our Studio of the Year page for the third successive year. In design consultancy terms, it is a relatively large operation with offices in three countries, so there is always plenty of work to enter, but that work still has to be of quality. This year, projects from the London and New York offices feature. From New York, we have Abbott Miller’s special issue of 2wice magazine featuring Martin Parr photographs of dancers. London supplies the House of Cards project for Shelter (developed from Leo Burnett’s original concept) and Marks, a bravado celebration of 400 symbols created by Pentagram partners from 1962 until the present day.

Below: Marks, a self-promotional book featuring 400 symbols designed by Pentagram partners from 1962 to the present day.

It’s been a great year for Manchester-based Music. High profile work for the likes of Manchester City Football Club and even a cover for CR’s August issue (which also contained a feature on the firm) was matched by smaller-scale but beautifully-crafted pieces that included a proposal for an Olympic poster for a show organised by Grafik magazine and a calendar for photographers’ agent Shaw & Shaw. Both of the latter appear in the Annual alongside a series of reports from a commission of prominent economists and business leaders for the Manchester Independent Economic Review.

Below: The MIER reports, designed by Music

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