Whether it’s thought-provoking illustrations, simple eye-catching typography or videos that have you gasping for breath in between laughs, we’ve rounded up some cutting-edge designers and content creators that are inspiring us.
Keeping up with design trends can be a dizzying endeavour; however, taking time out of your immediate bubble of creative inspiration can pay dividends when stumbling across corners of the internet that you may never have found before. Whether you’re subscribing to multiple design journals (Creative Review and Monocle), dedicating an afternoon to seeking out forward-thinking Instagrammers (try @khyatitrehan, @blast_foundry and @typegoodness) or allowing TikTok’s algorithm to direct you to the latest design content, it helps to keep your finger on the creative pulse every now and then.
We’ve listed a few of the creatives that are pushing the envelope and creating eye-catching, sleek or just downright hilarious content right now.
Illustration/animation – Noma Bar
Israeli illustrator Noma Bar cleverly uses negative space to create thought-provoking illustrations, often with double meaning that make you look once, twice or three times. The simple graphic forms, bold use of colours, shapes and pared down iconography that Noma uses tell visual stories with cunning craft and a less is more attitude.
His illustrations have appeared in many publications and now take on an extra dimension through recent animation work with a continuous sense of fluid motion and effortless story telling.
The approach of less is more – whether that’s in simple animation or on magazine covers – certainly allows designers to communicate slight nuances to audiences through creative executions. Much like Noma, we have to trust that our readers can piece together subtle messages. It’s the time of information overload so stand out from the crowd with a simple, well thought out and striking design concept.
Graphic Design – Matt Willey
Matt Willey is a graphic designer with a focus on brand identity and editorial design. His work combines strong typography (often incorporating his own fonts), vivid colour palettes and eye-catching photography. Constantly pushing the boundaries and tearing up the rule book, he has shaped a number of editorial publications ranging from The New York TimesMagazine to smaller, niche tiles such as Port and The Big Issue.
Matt’s bold typographic and graphic style can also be seen animated on screen where he has designed a number of logos, typefaces and title sequences for The Responder and the hit TV show Killing Eve.
Mercedes Me and Joost Bakker
A partnership between sustainability advocate Joost Bakker and Mercedes-Benz produced a visually stunning and sleek video to advocate for zero-waste and promote the all-electric EQA. Hardie Grant Media worked with Sherpa to capture a day in the life of the eco warrior using a drone and a range of close and wide shots to create a cinematic feel. The graphic typography overlaid throughout the video helps to propel the underlying story of the electric vehicle’s range without detracting from the main narrative, and the title sequence gives the series its own identity.
Video comedy – Uncle Roger
Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng creates edutainment at its best. Uncle Roger gives a crash course in ‘how not’ to cook Asian food in this cheap and cheerful YouTube series. Each episode reviews a well know TV chef and their latest Asian recipe. The production cost is low and yet his videos are a great example of high impact content on a shoestring budget.
Post-production effects (crash zooms, slow-mo and sound effects) emphasise Roger’s reactions while a split-screen edit keeps our eyes glued to the screen. A hilarious masterclass in low-touch content. Haiyaa!
Seek and you shall find
While there are innumerable places on the internet to find cutting-edge and interesting designers and content creators to follow, it’s worth narrowing down a few that you like and at least a couple that push the boundaries. For a little creative inspiration, you can also try Deck of Brilliance for different creative ways to approach a problem.
Neil Smith is the group art director at Heads & Tales.