Welcome to Review of the Year 2019! For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it’s where we pause to reflect and take a look back at the year that was in the creative world, picking out some of the best stories we’ve published and uncovering some of the key trends that have emerged over the past 12 months.
This year, however, things are a little different, as you may have spotted. We’ve still selected the top 25 Features, biggest News stories, and most inspiring Work articles across graphic design, photography and all our main disciplines. But we’ve slimmed down our look back at 2019 just a bit, in order to make way for a brand-new series of articles looking ahead to 2020. This series – appropriately named Preview of the Year – will be dropping on Monday 6 January, so don’t forget to return here after the holidays. Among many other things, we’ll be talking you through what to expect from graphic design, photography, and illustration and animation in the next 12 months, and offering some creative thoughts on two big news events coming up in 2020 – namely, the US elections and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the meantime, if you need something to do over the festive period (and you’ve exhausted all possible avenues of conversation with your estranged uncle), then please do enter our Instagram brief. In previous years we’ve asked you, our loyal readers, to send us a quick sketch or illustration including one word that summed up your year. This time, we’re looking ahead and asking you to identify a creative resolution for next year. We’ve also commissioned three great artists – Caterina Bianchini, Hiller Goodspeed and Zebu – to do the same to provide some initial sparks of inspiration. The best pieces that are submitted to us via Instagram over the Christmas break will be published in an article in the new year. Details on how to enter are here.
Of course, we’re not only saying goodbye to 2019 this year – we’re also bidding farewell to an entire decade. So, elsewhere in Review of the Year, you’ll also find a feature, for which we asked ten leading lights from the worlds of design, art and publishing to contribute their “creative moment” of the years 2010-19. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by politics, protest and the years since 2016 (can anyone really remember a time before then?). But there are a few gems from before that watershed, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which the great Margaret Calvert decided to write about.
At this stage, I’d just like to add a shout-out to my colleagues on the creative team here, particularly Elsa Müller, who worked on the identity for this year’s Review and Preview of the Year. We decided to make the challenge twice as hard by adding the new series looking ahead and she’s done a masterful job. She worked with Johannes Schnatmann, a freelance graphic designer based in Berlin, who has collaborated with PAN as well as Hassan Rahim in the past and is a complete pro when it comes to creating abstract 3D-rendered compositions. Elsa worked with him to create two linked but distinct identities for the two parts of this series.