Best of 2014: Our most popular critical and cultural articles of the year

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Published:  January 5, 2015
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We put together a top 5 of the most popular critical and cultural articles published in 2014. These pieces are highly researched, investigative articles that tap into an issue or topic that surrounds our industry, like the poor representation of women, to the abuse of cultural appropriation and material by designers.

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#1: Women in graphic design (and why we need to talk about them)

“It is often discussed, academically and informally, that the presence of female designers missing from the history of graphic design is a sore oversight of the profession. And while we can claim more progressive (and equal) laws and beliefs in present day society, the disparity between male and female representation in design lingers on…”

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#2: Faith in branding: How churches are being revived through design

“No longer are the four walls of the building the only place in which to engage with the community, and no longer does the church rely mostly on word-of-mouth or walk-ins. Today, churches are businesses in their own right (not-for-profit, of course), or at least having to consider behaving like one…”

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#3: The Memphis Blues Again

A fervent minimalist, Morrison recalls breaking into “a kind of cold sweat” when he was confronted with the highlighter colour laminates, clunky shapes and eclectic appropriations of exotic prints and formal motifs that came to characterise the [Memphis] group. “It was the weirdest feeling,” Morrison says, “you were in one sense repulsed by the objects, but also freed by this sort of total rule-breaking…” 

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#4: The Image Plunder: Understanding Cultural Appropriation

“Whether the meanings of these images are changed or renewed makes no difference to the fact this practice is often an unconscious process, and it is here that design fails its true potential—using image to the point of meaninglessness, rather than for clarity and appropriateness…”

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#5: What a wine label can teach us about amateurs, experts and collaboration

“Where one wine label may be designed with complete liberty, another may have an instilled limited freedom. Where one may respond to testing, another may be compromised by overarching control. Find out how this wine label project came to epitomise the peaks and pitfalls of the client/designer relationship…”

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