IdN’s centenary issue features a great sprawling article on the graphic design talent of tomorrow, as selected by today’s top talent. The magazine’s largest feature yet, the concept is fairly straight forward: IdN asked 10 of the world’s top graphic design talents to give their views on the graphic design scene today and what advice they might give to anyone wanting to enter it. Perhaps more importantly, they also asked each of these top designers to select one outstanding talent.
Careful to select their top 10 talents from a representative spread of the full spectrum of approaches to graphic design – from cool Norwegian conceptualists Non-Format to sensuous fashion illustrator Jason Brooks- the result is an equally broad spread of styles amongst the emerging talents profiled in the article. For example, they range from the conceptual objects of Lenny Oosterdijk to the grunge chic stylings of Peekasso selected by e Boy.
In effect, this article put together by one of the world’s most respected specialist graphic design magazines with a fifteen year history of creative publishing offers us a snapshot of the current state-of-play from the frontlines. What’s more it also offers us something of the deliciously voyeuristic pleasure of working out exactly what the taste and personal aesthetic preferences of some of the world’s most established graphic designers might be. Do we share Jason Brooks’ passion for David Downton’s fashion illustrations? Is Stanley Donwood’s choice of Peter Kennard unexpected? And, perhaps, most bizarrely of all, why has John C. Jay of Wieden + Kennedy advertising agency selected international superstar artist Tom Sachs as an ‘emerging’ talent in graphic design? Did he miss a memo?
At times the feature’s decision to largely profile the works of the selectors rather than the selected proves frustrating since we are generally familiar with the works of those whose valued opinion has been sought, though in a few cases, it’s pretty difficult to work out exactly whose work is on display. Similarly, with most of the text given over to summarising the careers of the established, it might have actually been nice to find out a little more about those now arriving. But this is nonetheless one of those nice juicy features that is likely to provoke debate as well as deliver a few surprises.