In the Chinese New Year, 2008 is the Year of the
Rat. Curiously, the rat is one animal that hasn’t become a
design trend over the past 12 years. Here are a few that
have—enough for everyone to claim their sign. LILA
Modern culture’s quest for
emotional connection through technology starts with “animal”
pals like the Gigapet. People protest the following year when the toys
warrior Jay Ryan draws rabid squirrels on rock posters. A craze is
When Diedre LeCarte uploads an
animated GIF tribute to her pet, Hampton, the “Hampster
Dance” becomes the first of many annoying viral
The Japanese brand moves into
Times Square just in time for a new millennium—and to stunt
Generation Y’s transition into adulthood en
Maira Kalman’s What Pete Ate
from A to Z becomes an artsy bookstore favorite; dogs take over book
jackets soon after.
With its silhouetted
sparrows, Mike Mills’s iconic cover of The Ganzfeld #2
jumpstarts the “birds on everything” movement
The antler chandelier, along with
lots of real taxidermy and bracelets made to look like twigs,
exemplifies the woodland look.
Bishop’s “Afternoon Delight,” featuring two unicorns
lost in ecstasy, sells out on Threadless. Kitschy unicorn album art
starts popping up.
March of the
Penguins unexpectedly captures the world’s heart, closely
followed by the animated Happy Feet. The “cute
animal” trend, however, starts to lose its
Dave Eggers pens the faux
encyclopedia volume Animals of the Ocean, Particularly the Giant
Squid. Scientists catch the 24-foot beast on film for the first
The mythic creature emerges from
the wilderness to star in commercials for lite beer, beef jerky, and ice
cream. But not insurance.
tell the future, so we’ll go with the conventional
wisdom—the stock market—and predict a bear year. Tigers
could be a close second, though.
Illustrations by Monika Aichele.