Haider Muhdi, design director at Uncommon Creative Studio, mulls over five projects with some of the best design talent he's seen in recent months
One aspect worth calling out from the offset is the standard of work that’s been surfacing this year alone (and so far in 2022) is amongst the most captivating we’ve seen for some time, which naturally makes selecting the five most standout pieces of work that bit more challenging, and to some extent merciless, as in part - only the very exceptional would be granted a seat at this table. So, when trying to compose my High Five, the need to reflect what’s driving and defining the design culture, art sphere, music arena and fashion scene seemed ever more necessary and pertinent. Without further ado, here’s Haidy-Haids top picks for 2022...
Balenciaga - 'Year of the Tiger'
Agency: Pablo Rochat Studio
Production: North Six
Photographer: Chris Maggio
DP: Alex Gvojic
Stylist: Laëtitia Gimenez Adam
Production Designer: Juliet Jernigan
One of hottest and most consistently brilliant art directors of my generation, the newly crowned ‘King of Pranks’, Pablo Rochat lands another weird yet wonderful tongue-in-cheek campaign for fashion house Balenciaga to promote its 'Year of The Tiger' SS/2022 collection. A playful take on visual illusions that entices the viewer into another look, offering us an insight into his funny perspective on fashion and his endless pursuit of the silliness through life. Yeh, I kinda get it Haider, but isn’t this all a bit odd? Exactly the point flower. It’s what’ll make this collection and campaign most memorable.
XL Recordings x Jamie XX - 'Let's Do It Again'
Agency & Production: Connor Campbell Studio
It’s almost completely unheard (in this day and age) that a music video being entirely composed of typography can be so mesmerising and evoke such meaningful emotions. The type-led concept which originated from the artist Jamie XX and then brought to life through optimism and nothing but sun-soaked type-in-motion by the very impressive Connor Campbell Studio. This dreamlike symphony takes kinetic type into a new direction - better still, an ultra-modern realm - visually leaving us feeling high as kite and euphoric at the same time.
BBC x Sir David Attenborough - 'The Green Planet: Welcome to Their World'
Agency: BBC Creative
Let’s all admit it, when it comes to tube takeovers, the mundane far exceeds the impressive. Well, not in this case. To help launch the latest nature series by one of our national treasures, Sir David Attenborough himself, BBC Creative delighted TFL travellers by transforming an entire platform at Green Park station into 'The Green Planet: Welcome to Their World'. It showcased the wonderful array of plant life, underwater life forms and even odd desert cacti, then utilised both digital screens to preview the trailer of the series, which only made missing the tube that slightly more informative and, dare I say, educationally enjoyable.
Nike - 'KidsVision: FlyEase SS2022'
Agency: Butt Studio
Doing a High Five without featuring work from either Nike or Apple is somewhat of an impossibility as they’re the brands we look to for innovation and category-defining campaigns. In the spirit of conformity, but be it something less expected, mainstream and purely because I am just a big kid at heart. This latest Nike Kids campaign for FlyEasy creps, created by the sublime Butt Studio, invites us to see the heavenly world through a kid’s eye. KidsVision is an immersive CGI world capturing boisterous youngens in a realm of inflatable objects, floating butterflies and glossy flowers. And yup, they’ve even gone to (Nike) town and given us a logo and a cut of Futura Extra Bold Condensed that elegantly fits that youthful world. Now isn’t that what every designer...I mean kid...dreams of?
International Olympics Committee - 'Stronger Together'
Agency: Uncommon Creative Studio
Production: Salomon Ligthelm
For my last pick, I’ve looked for something closer to home and to which I hold most dear, my tribe that is Uncommon Creative Studio. Our 'Stronger Together' campaign, beautifully shot by Salomon Ligthelm for International Olympics Committee (IOC), uses original choreography to show everyday people mirroring the actions of Olympic athletes in their various winter sports. A continuous dance of togetherness that illustrates the power that believing in each other can bring. Together we can push further, leap higher, land stronger. Through every rise, every fall, every victory - we remain stronger together.