6 biggest design movements of this millennium so far

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Design trends come and go, but these major global movements are in it for the long haul.

Trends: whether you embrace them or avoid them like the plague, it pays to know what they are and why they’re relevant. After all, they’ve become trends for a reason.

However, many design trends – particularly aesthetic ones – can be transient, flash-in-the-pan things. They’re all too often about imitation, rather than inspiration.

So far we’ve brought you the biggest graphic design trends you need to know about this year.

Design movements

Design movements are different. They’re much larger in scope, often encompassing multiple creative disciplines, and are influenced by global social and cultural factors that go far beyond simple aesthetics.

Many major 20th century design movements are still relevant today. Read on for our guide to six of the biggest design movements of this millennium so far…

01. Designing failure

This collaboration between FIELD and SEA Design for G F Smith resulted in 10,000 unique pieces of generative artwork for the paper company’s brochures

Failure can be a great teacher, provided you learn from your mistakes. But over the past decade or so, many designers have embraced its role not only in the creative process, but the visual outcome as well. From generative design to glitch art, creatives are sacrificing control in favour of beautiful randomness.

Failure can also encourage innovation, disrupting longstanding conventions to see the world in a less polarised way. In manufacturing, imperfections in the final product provide an antidote to identical mass-produced items – and there’s a market for products that celebrate errors, inaccuracies and imperfections as USPs, making them more exclusive and unique.

Many of the students at LCC’s 2017 graduate show celebrated glitches and randomness. Richard Underwood created patterns using data captured from ball bearings rolling around a light box

Generative design, in which designers set the rules and parameters to make an algorithm, but then ultimately relinquish control of the actual visuals produced, has also taken off in a big way this millennium, resulting in many different unique iterations of graphic products in sectors from packaging to publishing and beyond.

Caused by technological malfunctions, glitches tend to be uninvited when they appear in the production process, but these too are celebrated and encouraged as part of this creative movement, with designers appreciating the combination of mechanical failure and human intention to drive new graphic styles.

The involvement of artificial intelligence in the process has stoked much debate and discussion about whether designers will ultimately become obsolete as we increasingly embrace the products of machine thinking. But in a field where little room has been allowed for failure in the past, more designers than ever are embracing chaos in their creative practices, and benefitting from it.

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