Summer 2020

Introduction Eye 100

For this issue, eleven prominent designers have generously given up time to talk about graphic design – discussing work processes, clients and their opinions in general. These illustrated conversations are interleaved with thirteen snapshots of projects that range from books to digital processing, from calligraffiti to Hangul type design. Taken together, the contents were originally intended to sketch out an array of graphic design and visual culture at the moment this magazine reaches a milestone: 100 issues in almost three decades of continuous publication since its launch.

History, however, had a surprise in store. Though the images and artefacts that fill this edition are contemporary, they represent a freeze-framed ‘now’ that has taken on new significance. From our socially distanced present, design events such as the digital DEMO festival, held in a busy metropolitan railway station, feel like transmissions from a parallel universe. Many such glimpses of pre-Covid-19 life can seem similarly unreal, while the post-Covid world is necessarily undefined. Yet we know that as every aspect of society and business changes to absorb the lessons of this pandemic, design will also have to evolve. Whatever happens, a return to ‘business as usual’ is unlikely (as environmentalists have argued for some time).

Here in the pages of Eye 100 we present a panorama of current, time-stamped graphic design practice as we wait expectantly – screenbound – on the cusp of a new reality that may take years to grasp. Whatever happens within the future world of visual culture, we are certain to keep talking about graphic design.

Right and top. Studio Dumbar’s ‘Cities in Motion’ animated displays at DEMO (Design in Motion Festival), Amsterdam Central Station, 7 November 2019. See interview with Liza Enebeis. Photos: Aad Hoogendoorn. Dumbar, now part of Dept, was featured in Eye no. 1 vol. 1.


John L. Walters, editor of Eye, London

First published in Eye no. 100 vol. 25, 2020

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue.