04 Jan 2024

Bidding adieu to Design Week

The news of Design Week closing its doors over Christmas has left a bittersweet echo in the hearts of design enthusiasts worldwide. For 38 years, this iconic publication has been a steadfast champion of design excellence, guiding and inspiring creative minds through the ever-evolving landscape of the industry.

As we say our farewells to Design Week, Gareth Roberts (Design Director) reminisces about the beautifully curated pages that acted as a source of inspiration, information, and unity for designers across the globe…

The closure marks the end of an era, but Design Week’s influence on the design landscape will undoubtedly endure, leaving an indelible mark on countless designers who found inspiration within its pages.

Back in the days when the internet was but a whisper, and bluemarlin was just finding its footing, Design Week was already an institution. It was a trusted font of knowledge that graced studios in the pre-internet days, it was one of a very select few platforms offering a glimpse into the design world’s pulse. For fledgling agencies like bluemarlin, mentions in Design Week played a significant role in the early success and recognition of the studio, helping it spread its creative wings.

Reflecting on my own journey as a young designer entering the industry in the early 2000’s, Design Week was omnipresent. Like a ritual, studios, big or small, eagerly awaited the fresh copy that arrived like clockwork. It was a race to be the first to discover the latest creative wonders, passed around studios like a sacred relic each designer consuming it like a communion wafer, before passing it down the line to the next. A well-thumbed copy by the week’s end, ready to be replaced by it successor bore witness to its journey, adorned with clipped-out pages, folded corners, and post-it notes marking points of interest. Some lucky mentions even made their way to the framers, earning a place on the wall of fame.

Design Week wasn’t just a magazine; it was a showcase of the best, a place to keep an eye on your competition, and, sometimes, a job-hunting ground. A mention, let alone a feature or article, felt like a nod from the design gods. Even as print gave way to the digital-only version, the impact remained undiminished. The digital version was poured over, bookmarked, and referenced with the same fervor as its physical predecessor.

One of Design Week’s most cherished features was its unwavering commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the design realm. By highlighting the work of underrepresented designers, the magazine ensured that creative voices from all walks of life found a place in the spotlight. This dedication contributed significantly to fostering a more vibrant and dynamic design community.

Beyond being a source of inspiration, Design Week served as a platform for thought-provoking discussions and critical analyses of design’s role in shaping culture and society. In-depth interviews, feature articles, and insightful opinion pieces created a space for dialogue that resonated far beyond the magazine’s pages, leaving a lasting impact on the broader design community.

Over the years, Design Week’s influence extended to the events, awards, and exhibitions it initiated and sponsored, bringing together designers from around the world. These initiatives not only celebrated outstanding design achievements but also provided a forum for networking and collaboration, further strengthening the bonds within the global design community.

As we bid farewell to Design Week Magazine, we acknowledge that it may no longer grace our coffee tables, studio desks, or digital screens, but its spirit will forever resonate in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to be touched by its passion for design excellence. Thank you, Design Week Magazine, for 38 years of unparalleled dedication to the art and craft that shapes our world. May your legacy continue to inspire generations of designers to come.