Designing the New Rules of Work in the wake of a pandemic

This year has been a pretty wild ride so far, and one of the big things to have emerged from it is a massive shift in the way we work. Sadly for many, there's obviously been a sharp decrease in earnings or opportunities; while mass redundancy announcements seem to have become the norm.

For those of us lucky enough to need pretty much just a laptop to get stuff done – i.e. much of the work undertaken in the creative industries – home working has become the norm. Sure, that's dreamy as hell for a bit: no more commute, no more need to bother wearing anything but PJs or a tracksuit, no distracting colleagues, no-one looking over your shoulder (at least in a physical sense).

The flip side, of course, is that also means you're never really forced to leave the house. Which means legs and brains can become a little fuzzy, and dirty joggers can (for some, not I, I'll be honest) feel better about themselves when not living in a uniform of Kappa tracksuits. Colleagues, too, can be pretty fun, and help you avoid the sense of howling into the void. Plus no-one's kicking you up the arse to stop gazing out the window/into the fridge.

A project from an international team, New Rules of Work – Pandemic Edition, brings all this to life beautifully, creating type-based moving graphics that satirise these relatable everyday things that we've likely all experienced during the Covid-19 lockdown.

It's a collaboration between Sathe and Division of Labor writer Anton Darri Pálmarsson from Reykjavik. The pair created a collection of motion graphics and kinetic typography as gifs, that aim to sum up our collective experiences of the realities of work over the last few months. Paul Hirsch also created some letterpress prints as part of the project.

The designs form part of the New Rules of Work series that has been running for more than half a decade and was founded by Paul Hirsch, the co-founder of US design agency Division of Labor. His books under the New Rules of Work banner look to present a series of new rules for the way we work today, reflecting changes in the design industry such as the rapid development of various digital tools, for instance.

Rigved Sathe is a graphic designer who recently quit their full-time job in Singapore to return to their native Pune, India, helming design studio Seleqt.


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