idsgn (a design blog)

The year in design, 2009

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January 1 2010

As we enter a new decade, we have taken the opportunity to look back over our most memorable features of 2009.


In with the new…

This year we saw many (controversial) brand updates: Nickelodeon wiped away the slime, Pizza Hut gave itself a nickname, Firefox hit refresh, Microsoft tried to rebrand search, and AOL became Aol. (with a period).

The King of Pop culture

When Michael Jackson died in June, he left behind more than just his music. Believing that the creative spark of one artist can light a flame for many others, we collected some of the many defining marks he left on popular culture.


Doing things differently

University graduates Tom Wrigglesworth and Matt Robinson made ink jet printers come to life, Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski made a music video with paper shredders, Belgium-based pleaseletmedesign designed a typeface with the help of a professional race car driver, Cardon Webb turned lost cat posters into typographic works of art, and Aakash Nihalani used tape to redesign the streets.


IKEA says goodbye to Futura

When IKEA switched from Futura to Verdana this summer, our story received nearly 300 comments—proving people are passionate about typography. Making a mark on mainstream media, some comments were even published in the New York Times! Later, we learned Verdana will be receiving a print-friendly facelift for 2010 (and we can’t wait to see it).


Know your type

In our ‘Know your type’ series, we looked into the origins of some of the most interesting and commonly used fonts in design today. In 2009 we profiled DIN, Verlag, Futura, Gotham, Clarendon, and Gill Sans. Watch for more in the series in 2010!


Packaging throwback

Supermarket packaging did a time warp in 2009. We saw Pepsi Throwback, a retro spin on Nabisco’s Ritz and Oreo, and a Sunny D fit for the Beach Boys. The Kool-Aid man even made a comeback.


Sex still sells

With the controversy surrounding Calvin Klein’s infamous ‘orgy' billboard in New York City, we explored the history of sex in advertising (yes, sex is here to stay). Part of our ‘Now and then’ series, we also explored the evolution of the film title in 2009.


Award-winning design

In July, we showcased the inspiring identity and print design winners of the 56th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France.


Olympic fever

In August, we asked readers to vote for the 2016 Summer Olympics host city, based solely on design. The overall favorite was Madrid (with 48% of the votes), though we soon found out Rio de Janeiro (third place at 19%) won the bid. Recently, we also saw the brand unveiling for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


Discussions with April Greiman

This fall, we launched our ‘Design discussions’ feature, interviewing the one of the most influential designers of the digital age: April Greiman. In our two part feature, Greiman discussed technology and trans-media.

Thanks for reading idsgn, stay tuned for even more in 2010!

Filed under: design

By Skylar Challand