Welcome to The Review: an annual look back at the last 12 months, beginning with our roundup of the year's 25 best articles on Creative Boom.
Remember when we expected the first year post-pandemic to be one long party? Well, in 2022, that didn't really happen, did it? From war to political instability to cost-of-living crises, it's been a difficult year, to say the least. But the end of the old year and the dawn of the new is traditionally a time for optimism. And there's still a lot to be positive about.
In recent years, we've seen a sea-change regarding mental health, which is increasingly openly discussed. Equal rights and gender bias are finally getting the attention and practical action they deserve, however incompletely. New technologies like AI, NFTs and the metaverse present new creative possibilities, not least in gainful employment. And as ever, we at Creative Boom have been uplifted by the incredibly talented creatives whose work we've been privileged to share on this website.
In short, call us naive, but we're optimistic for 2023 at Creative Boom and raring to spread more hope and positivity as we get ready to welcome another year.
Before we're done with 2022, though, we'd like to present The Review: our big review of the previous 12 months featuring our best and most popular content, the keenest insight from the industry, the main lessons learned, and what everyone thinks will be big in the year to come.
We start with this roundup of our 25 most recommended stories from 2022. You'll find a wealth of inspiration here, from industry advice to world-class creative projects and everything in between. You may have missed a few of these the first time around (we get it, everyone's busy), but they're still all relevant now, some more so than ever. And even the articles you've previously read may well reveal fresh insights with the benefit of hindsight, so they're probably worth a look too.
Meanwhile, if you want to see how much things can change in 12 months, check out our inaugural 2021 Review from this time last year. Always good to get a sense of perspective.
1. Monotype's Marie Boulanger on the nostalgic power of typography in The French Dispatch
Like us, type designer and Monotype brand designer Marie Boulanger loved Wes Anderson's latest movie, The French Dispatch. And with her keen eye for all things typography, she had a keen eye for the film's incredible type design. We discuss her analysis in our exclusive interview, including her broader insights into the use of typography to evoke nostalgia.
2. Everland unites vegans and meat lovers with tasty new identity for a plant-based food startup
Plant-based food startup La Vie had a unique idea: offer plant-based food that wasn't just aimed at veggies but meat lovers too. Scandinavian design studio Everland gave it a fresh look that was edgy yet warm, and we chatted to creative director Carl Johan Larsson to find out how they went about it.
3. James Hurst on his new role at Google, Big Tech's bad press and why he's hopeful for the future
Dream jobs don't have to be impossible. British designer James Hurst is living proof. After 17 years in the profession, he landed the role of Google's head of brand design this April, and so far, it's been everything he ever wished for. In our exclusive interview, James walks us through his spectacular career and talks about the challenges facing big tech and what the future has to offer.
4. Mikhail Lychkovskiy on channelling Swiss design elements with experimental forms and flair
Combining traditional Swiss design with his own artistic flair, Mikhail Lychkovskiy's work spans digital interfaces and posters. We explored this graphic designer's brilliant work and chatted with him to understand its underlying philosophy.
5. 40 fonts that will be popular with designers in 2023
In our popular annual forecast of type design, we reveal the 40 hot typefaces to keep an eye on in 2023, including serifs and sans serifs, variable fonts, display fonts, and more. And we get pro-industry insight to discover the latest trends shaping type design right now.
6. Super Bowl 2022: Watch this year's biggest and best ads as we share our top picks
Most of us in the creative industry know about the importance of Super Bowl ads. But few of us in the UK actually watch them. To fill the knowledge gap, Josh Pearce of Dark Horses, a creative agency specialising in sports, brings us up to speed in this interview.
7. Jade Purple Brown on colour obsession, copycats and how you learn to prioritise yourself
An artist based in New York City, Jade Purple Brown's best-known piece once formed the opening cover of Adobe Illustrator. In our exclusive interview, she explained how she's working on her own terms, reaching that desirable level of fame that every illustrator dreams of, and supporting huge clients such as Apple, Facebook, TikTok, Adobe and Amazon Prime.
8. Nine insider tips that will boost your confidence as a creative professional
If you spend any time in the creative industry, you realise that talent isn't enough: you also need the confidence to see yourself. Many, though, go into illustration or design specifically because they're shy or introverted. In this article, you'll find lots of workable advice from fellow creatives on how to square the circle.
9. Creative leads on the women that inspire them most
Articles, books and documentaries about iconic creatives of the past generally focus overwhelmingly on men. But it's not like there aren't great female creatives to talk about too! To provide some balance, we've chatted to some big names across the industry to uncover unsung heroines who have inspired them during their careers.
10. Ad agency CPB London launches 'Imagine' campaign to tackle gender bias
Imagine a world where gender makes no difference. That's the premise behind a new poster campaign by advertising agency CPB London for International Women's Day. We reveal what prompted the idea and how it was put together in practice.
11. A growing resource for the creative industry of free stock images of the war in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine was foremost in our minds through the idea. Shortly after the Russians first invaded, we shared this useful stock photography resource for anyone working to cover the conflict, either artistically or journalistically.
12. A helpful guide to marketing for freelancers fed up with Instagram
Was this the year when creatives finally lost faith in Instagram? Time will tell, but for those seeking an alternative, we provided this detailed report, which includes tips and advice that are just as relevant eight months on.
13. Bored of Apes? Here's an artist's guide to NFTs that won't drive you bananas
Like them or loathe them, everyone was talking about NFTs as a tool for artists this year. There was a lot of confusion, though, so we helped out with our no-nonsense guide to NFTs and what you can do with them. If you're still not sure, give our report a read.
14. Random but very considered, each issue of Sociotype Journal is designed themed on a single type family
Socio, a brand design agency that's been running for 18 years, has its own design-led type foundry named Sociotype. And in 2022, it launched a journal as both a way of sharing interesting ideas as well as a type specimen in itself – a means of showing the type the studio has been designing and releasing through the foundry.
15. Order's Jesse Reed on launching your own design agency and following your creative dreams
Jesse Reed is known for being a Pentagram partner, creating The Standards Manual, and launching his own agency, Order. In our exclusive interview, we chatted to Jesse about all these things, as well as his love of grids and structure, working with Kickstarter, and adapting to the post-lockdown world.
16. Seen It All: Nike launches new brand anthem with a film directed by Spike Lee
To help spread the word about Nike's new brand anthem, 'Seen It All', iconic director Spike Lee reprised his role as Mars Blackmon and directed a film looking back on 50 years of Nike. We shared behind-the-scenes pictures and insights into how it was made.
17. How creative agencies are finding different ways to help mental wellbeing at work
It isn't long ago that mental health was something you didn't bring up with your boss for fear it would damage your career. Today, all that has (thankfully) changed. So for Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked four creative agencies to tell us what they're doing to tackle mental wellbeing in the workplace in 2022.
18. How designers can help brands to stand out by tearing up the rule book
Why is so much of modern identity design so indistinguishable? And how can we, as designers, fix it? This insightful article by Ragged Edge's Max Ottignon offers some practical solutions to this thorny problem.
19. Meet DALL-E 2, the robot artist using AI to make dreams a reality
This time last year, few of us were paying AI art software any mind. Now, thanks to DALL-E 2, many of us are worried about our jobs. In this article, we explain how DALL-E 2 works and what it means for the creative profession.
20. Gretel's Dylan Mulvaney on city life, serendipity, and why graphic designers never get famous
As head of design at Gretel NY, Dylan Mulvaney is the creative force behind brand identities for Apple, Netflix and Vice. In our exclusive interview, Dylan chatted about the process that leads to world-class results and how he got here in the first place.
21. Leading designers reveal the biggest trends in packaging design of 2022 so far
We asked good folks behind the Pentawards, the leading global platform and community for packaging design, to share the latest global packaging trends with the Creative Boom community. In this insightful article, they set out five key themes for the year, including custom bottles and packaging with a conscience.
22. 'Less is more': Ninki on Riso-inspired colours and illustrating with a simplistic and positive outlook
Chinese-born illustrator Ninki has carved a recognisable style characterised by colour-blocked palettes, primary shades and realistic depictions of food. We chat about her inspirations and discuss how she got on the path to her flourishing career.
23. Rumbidzai Savanhu on becoming an illustrator & how her Zimbabwean heritage influences her use of colour
After only deciding to pursue illustration during the pandemic, Birmingham-based illustrator Rumbidzai Savanhu has already worked for the likes of Royal Brompton Hospitals NHS Trust, Little White Lies and London Wildlife Trust. We talked to her about being mentored, her use of colour, and the influence of her Zimbabwean heritage.
24. The Christmas ads of 2022: Bringing joy and nostalgia but treading carefully in the midst of economic gloom
Once Halloween has passed and the nightly fireworks have calmed down, the inevitable festive race alway begins between all the major retailers as they release their Christmas ads. But what's the overriding theme this year as they battle for our cash and attention? We take a closer look and we get insight from the industry, revealing who are the winners and losers of the bunch.
25. Eighteen highly respected type foundries that remain fiercely independent
Smaller and leaner typeface companies sometimes fly under the radar but often have the best fonts, so they're well worth checking out. In our roundup, we list 18 amazing indies every designer should know. They're all worth supporting and could potentially provide the killer font you need to bring your design projects to the next level.