Before Robotics There Were Generics

There are many jobs that will never come back. There are many genres that have run their course. In the pre-branding days, when the field was called “CI,” or “Corporate Identity,” the late November/December/January months were Annual Report Season, and all the big and small CI design firms were hard at work pumping out some great—and not-so-great—corporate annual reports.

Many were strikingly inventive, and others were based on preconceived ideas of what an annual report should be. After all, it was designed to give corporate shareholders a sense of calm about their investments. Designers were involved to present the profit-and-loss figures in a soothingly authoritative manner. This issue of Dimensions, a paper promotion, spells out exactly what a modern annual report might look like. The Generic report could be designed by a robot, except the personal computer had not been invented yet. Soon the report would be supplanted by other communications, and now there is something refreshing about the generic qualities of the following options.

 

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The 2017 PRINT RDA: Final Deadline Extended. Enter Now!

Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen LuptonEddie OparaPaula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.

Draplin image: Leah Nash. Hische: Helena Price. Lupton: Michelle Qureshi. Scher: Ian Roberts.

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