05 2018 – a year in design

2018 – a year in design

2018 has been a year of ups and downs. We’ve had Brexit negotiations, royal weddings and alarming wake-up calls about global warming. Who could forget that the Spice Girls announced their reformation (minus Victoria)? And England performed better than many of us expected in the World Cup, which spiked a dramatic rise in sales of men’s waistcoats thanks to Gareth Southgate. We fit a lot in to 365 days…

Whether you believe 2018 was a year of triumphs or disasters, it’s certainly been full of significant moments – and this is no different in the world of design.

At Red Setter we are incredibly lucky to work with clients who deliver jaw-dropping design on a regular basis, which we could shout about from the rooftops all day long. But it’s only fair to acknowledge that this has been a big year outside our client base too, so we’ve pulled together a selection of our favourite 2018 design highlights that Red Setter didn’t have a hand in.


John Lewis / Waitrose rebrand by Pentagram

(Claire Blyth, Managing Director)

This rebrand further elevates John Lewis from its struggling rivals, and helps Waitrose stand apart in the supermarket sector. Including ‘and partners’ draws attention to its democratic ethos and shows consumers it’s a brand with principles, which is becoming increasingly important. Its brand architecture works on every application and looks fantastic.

(Samantha Clark, Senior Media Consultant)

It unifies the three brands and highlights the company’s employee-owned business structure. It’s such a simple and elegant look, which reflects the premium nature of their offering. I also particularly like the use of the shade of green famously used by John Spedan Lewis (who founded the John Lewis Partnership) to sign documents. It’s a lovely nod to the past.

Selfridges Accessories hall revamp in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects

(Lianne Drewett, New Business Researcher)

Four years in the making and costing around £300m, it is now the largest accessories destination in the world (including the largest eyewear department in the UK)

Designed in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects to double the size and double the goodies, I love the minimal feel which really lets the drool-worthy accessories shine.

Comedy Sans – a new typeface created exclusively for Comedy Central by Loyal Kaspar

(Charlie Royce, Executive Assistant to the Directors)

Hallmarked as the king of comedy, Comedy Central refreshed its brand with a new typeface designed by NYC agency LoyalKaspar.

Other than the obvious play on words, I love how the typeface has been adapted to fit across every platform that Comedy Central spreads its content. From 2D to 3D, digital to print, I think it totally transforms the brand whilst managing to maintain its already well-established identity.

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

(Gemma Maxey, PR Account Director)

As someone who lived for the weekends and going to various club nights across the country in the 90s, I love the visual nostalgia attached to the book Clubbed.

Compiled by designer Rick Banks, it’s a book exploring the last 35 years of graphics used on the UK club scene. Red Setter even pledged to support it on Kickstarter and is thanked in the book!


Start-rite by Studio Sutherl&

(Jo Hall, Business Director)

Such a great brand identity from Studio Sutherl&. Reinvigorating heritage brand Start Rite, making it relevant, playful and contemporary. The detail is what sets it apart…. hashtags with feet!

Saudi Arabia’s installation at the London Biennale at Somerset House

(Martin Thomas, Writer)

The design that moved me the most this year was Saudi Arabia’s installation at the London Biennale at Somerset House. I could have sat for hours in that darkened hall of mirrors, lost in the intricate animated geometric light patterns. Creating such a meditative space in the hullabaloo of the biennale was no small feat.


The Ivy in the Lanes, Brighton

(Cher Keane, Marketing Account Director)

Stripped back, monochrome, simplistic design seems to be everywhere in luxury design this year. Sitting in The Ivy, it was nice to be reminded that sometimes it’s nice to be surrounded by clashing vibrant colours and rich textures.



John Lewis X PATTERNITY: Positive Patterns

(Kate Selley, Marketing Account Executive)

This year John Lewis collaborated with pattern research and design agency, PATTERNITY to create a range of home and fashion pieces.

I love the way this project has taken the ‘everyday’ things we see around us and really focused on the patterns within as inspiration for the collection.

I really enjoy seeing the original inspiration and how the pattern has been interpreted, to then be developed into the great final pieces.

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