This past weekend I went down to London to receive my ISTD award at the ceremony being held in the Design Museum. That itself was a fantastic night were I met some interesting people and just hear about some of the great work going on in our industry (but more on that later...). This trip happened to coincide with the Wim Crouwel exhibition, so I figured it was worth having a little nosy at. And how right I was.
I had heard of Crouwel before the exhibition but never fully understood the mark he has left in Graphic Design, this exhibition opened my eyes to his talent and creativity. Myself and Leanne Swift (http://www.leanneswift.co.uk) spent well over a couple of hours in this single room, in awe of this mans legacy (we even out lasted the exhibition guard monitoring the room lol). After hours of drooling over his work we came to the conclusion that too many people imitate his work. Nearly every piece in there we had seen done by a friend or peer. This is an amazing tribute to Crouwel and highlights just how influential he is to our industry, but it did get me wondering what he thinks of designers now. In his youth he was seen as this daring and different designer, he imitated no one (though he did have influences) and explored his own desires and curiosities. Are we doing enough of this in our own work? Is Crouwel looking at our "cutting edge" designs and chomping at the bit to compete against us, or is he (more likely) watching and going "Been there, done that"? I feel as though we owe it to Crouwel and all our other design heros, to do something new and daring. Not to pay tribute to them but to instead scare them with our "edgy" designs. Am I wrong?
I recommend everyone go see this exhibition and let me know what you think. I have a feeling you'll walk out of there feeling exactly the same as me; sick to the stomach by the beauty of his craft lol.
Here are some photographs from the exhibition. Unfortunately I couldn't find any of the pieces that particularly stood out to me (the Panto logo design and what I can only deduce as an abstract interpretation of paragraph styling).
The rug below is how I discovered Crouwel's work. Unfortunately it wasn't in the exhibition (the his typeface used was) so I guess I'm going to have to get one hell of a well paid design job so I can buy my own copy of the rug lol.