Fast Company's 10th Annual Design Issue

Fast Company's 10th Annual Design Issue
Since National Design Week begins this week, let's take a look at how Fast Company recently celebrated 10 years of its annual Design Issue. Design Director Ted Keller gives us a recap of the print coverage.

The goal of Fast Company's 10th Annual Innovation by Design Issue was to show how design is no longer simply a glossy coating applied to make a consumer product more palatable, but a core part of a company's strategy for success -- and how people have come to not simply be aware of design, but now expect innovative design thinking in realms as diverse as fashion, architecture, information visualization, political campaigns, and city planning.

Accomplishing both of those objectives necessitated eliminating the traditional front-of-book sections in favor of a decade-long timeline that highlighted the design moments (large and small) which led us increment by increment to "here" -- that is, the era of design consciousness that we inhabit now. 

The timeline sets up the feature well, which is intended to frame -- and then push past -- the current moment, to show how design and business are becoming ever more inseparable, just as design itself becomes ever less object-on-desktop based and more integrated into people's lives, wherever they are and whatever they are doing. 

This dual construction required two "openers", one for the introductory essay which opens the issue (and transitions directly to the timeline), and one for the feature well. Both are primarily typographic, with the essay opener featuring scattered letterfoms spelling out the word "Design", and the feature opener spelling out "Innovation." Both were created by the UK design studio Sawdust.


The first feature package, "Dynamic Duos", is a portfolio of CEOs and their design chiefs who are truly partners, and who share their insights on the business value of creative collaboration. Portraits by Julian Broad, David Black, Yu Tsai, Brian Finke and others.


"Apple Breaks the Mold" tells the story of Apple from the inside out in oral history form, from 1990s near-bankruptcy to the bubbly iMac (which almost single-handedly created the notion of computer as object of design lust), to the current era of magical lifestyle enhancement devices. Opening artwork by Benoit Challand. Apple product sculptures and photographs by Wyne Veen.


"How High Can Fab Climb?" looks at the rapid rise (and hasty infrastructure building) of the design-centric website, and examines the the controversial duo behind it all, CEO Jason Goldberg and Chief Design Officer Bradford Shellhammer. Opening artwork by Christian Labrooy. Photograph by Rennio Maifredi.


"Google: The Redesign" describes how Google pivoted from being singularly data-driven to focused on design, though in a vastly more decentralized and evolutionary way than Apple. Opening artwork by Plastic Bionic.


"Where Design is Going Next" examines the finalists from the 2013 Innovation by Design Awards and sees four trends that give insight into the next wave of innovation. Photographs by Greg Broom.


The remaining departments allow us to showcase more art and photo moments. Apple product sculptures and photographs by Wyne Veen. Photographs by Larry Fink, João Canziani and others.

Read more about Fast Company's design coverage HERE, which this year also included a first-ever Innovation by Design Conference and the 2nd annual Design Awards Party.

The iPad app includes a live Twitter feed of Timeline feedback from readers: #designdecade

Fast Company Editor Bob Safian sums up "10 Lessons for Design-Driven Success" HERE


The Fast Company Design Issue was produced by:

Florian Bachleda, Creative Director.
Ted Keller, Design Director.
Leslie dela Vega and Sarah FilippiPhotography Directors.
Alice AlvesArt Director.
Julia Knetzer, Associate Art Director.
Christian Gaffney, Designer.
Annie Chiacontributing Photo Editor.
Carly Migliori, Editorial Production Manager.

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