I’m no designer, and I felt that I didn’t have a strong sense of what kind of thing appealed to me.
So I spent a year aim collecting examples of designs I liked, then teased out the threads that connected the ones I liked most.
Below is the final post of the project. It summarises what I found and what I learnt. The full project is here: Cool Design Scrapbook on Tumblr.
This is one of my favourite designs. It’s an ad for cognac by Otard Dupuy & Co, dating back to 1910.
I’ve come across individual images like this that I wouldn’t otherwise have found. But looking back through the posts (this is #70), I can see that a handful of themes have emerged.
The idea of this final post is to pick out three of those themes, and the designs that best embody them.
Theme 1: Stark dark/light contrasts
I wrote several times about dark text or images on a light background. The contrast of colours, and the space around the focus of the design, make a real impression on me.
Theme 2: Simplified images
I’ve found a number of designs in which simplifying the subject increases its power.
Theme 3: Retro styling
Some of my favourite posts have involved modern references to retro designs.
A couple of my earliest posts featured adverts or travel posters from the first half of the 20th century. But I prefer the latter-day versions – like Cheddar Ales, the Ping Pong Parlour, and Bertelli’s beautiful bikes.
My final word, though, goes to Sanna Annukka, whose designs for Keane’s Under The Iron Sea album were the spark for this blog.
My post on the artwork for that album can be found here. I thought it appropriate that her pictures, having been the first to appear on this blog, should also be the last.
If you’re interested in what I’m doing next, you can follow @toddmgreen on Twitter.
Thanks for reading.