TL:DR Skew’s creative team shares their insights, inspiration and intelligence on everything design and branding. "
Every month the Skew design department gets together to discuss interesting sources of inspiration, emerging trends, design software developments and anything else that has caught their eye. The top picks from this month take us on a whistle stop tour of, sunny stained glass objets d'art, exceptional interiors, 2024 directions for graphic design, and a review of Illustrator's new mock-up feature.
Annu Kilpelainen is a Finnish illustrator based in London with a strong signature colour palette and a list of brand collaborations as long as your arm. Her practice seems to know no bounds as she creates in a multitude of mediums, most recently branching out into stained glass. Under the tutelage of her mother, Kilpelaninen has breathed new life into this traditional artform crafting colourful ornaments, model cars and even shoes. If you’re looking for a slice of sunshine on a dull winter day her instagram is the perfect place to get inspired. Check it out here.
As part of Spring Haul one of the attending brands has requested to focus on interiors and homeware so we’ve been pulling together our preferred sources of inspiration. A long standing favourite of the team is Italian Bark. Unlike other sites who provide a trend report teaser but lock the good stuff behind a paywall, Italian Bark gives you an entire run down completely free! Perfect for desk research without the subscription fee.
Another go-to for the team is Good Moods. This site is a double whammy of inspiration by providing a wide variety of resources whilst also supplying inspiration for how to present mood boards and imagery in your own projects. Check out their ‘Shining Heritage’ piece for a strong example of how they nail aesthetic and informative every time.
P.S. Our one-day retail London masterclass, Spring Haul, is sold out but if you’re interested in how Skew works we will be running another workshop later this year. Find more information and register for updates here.
At Skew we’re always on the look out for what’s new in different design fields. Matt Thorne ‘18 Graphic Design Trends 2024 [Explained]’ video not only presents a comprehensive list of these trends but also delves into key identifiers to help spot them. The video explores instances of when these trends have been successful, as well as occasions when they haven't. Thorne also highlights what's becoming outdated and provides insights on how each trend is evolving.
The team have recently been exploring the mock-up function in Illustrator and found it quite promising. In the beta version, we were able to import items like a baseball cap, coffee cup, or packaging from Adobe Stock and incorporate our own designs to visualise the end product. While the tool is not entirely polished and we encountered some initial hiccups, it proves handy for a quick preview of designs. We particularly enjoyed experimenting with the text-to-vector function, although currently we’ve only had successes either creating basic images that would need considerable editing or simple icons. Despite its limitations, we're anticipating improvements as Adobe develops the function.