This week, Computer Arts magazine is publishing its 300th issue, marking a quarter of a century of print. And some of the leading lights in the profession are coming together to help celebrate. In the issue, which is available to buy on Friday, 6 December, famed creatives such as Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Noma Bar and more look back on some of the biggest creative milestones that have shaped the industry.
In the meantime, to get you in the mood for this special issue, iconic designer Michael Wolff, co-founder of Wolff Olins, shares the key moments in design that have influenced him and his career. "These are the ones that sprang immediately to my mind," he explains. "I’m sure many examples of brilliant work are missing in this spontaneous trawl. But for all of them it was their originality, their skill, their wit and to some extent, although clearly not always, their unreasonableness and bravery that have stayed with me."
01. Dave Abbott’s glorious Economist posters. There’s a wonderful book on the Economist campaign, by Alfredo Marcantonio, called Well-written and Red.
02. Fallon's ‘Balls’ commercial for Sony Bravio, made in San Francisco by Fallon. Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, this featured 250,000 rubber balls (real, not CG) bouncing down a street.
03. The Apple name and symbol, and the ‘VW beetle-like’ design of Apple’s idiosyncratic Macintosh, as well as the amazing campaign that launched it in Newsweek. Apple bought all the available advertising space in a single issue to run their classic 39 page Mac-launching ad, in 1984.
04. The original pace-setting DDB campaign naming, launching and promoting VW’s Beetle in the USA in 1959. It's a campaign that often been emulated, but never surpassed.
05. The wonderful cover for the Sergeant Pepper vinyl by pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, depicting the Beatles posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures.
06. Andy Warhol’s banana, the cover art for the self-titled album by the Velvet Underground & Nico. (See more iconic record cover art in our article, The 20 best album covers of all time.)
07. Robert Brownjohn’s peace poster. He designed this for the New York Peace Campaign in 1969.
08. Graphic designer Derek Birdsall’s 2000 redesign of the English Prayer book, which made great use of Gill Sans.
09. Twen magazine (1959-1970) by German designer Willy Fleckhaus, which some call the greatest looking magazine of all time. Its approach to grid-based design was revolutionary for the era.
10. Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir’s motorway signs in the UK. Created between 1957 and 1967, they have influenced signage design across the world.
11. The CND symbol, designed by Harvard science professor Gerald Holton in 1958. It's based on the semaphore signals for letters N and D.
12. Illustrator Tony Meeuwissen’s magical cards, the result of his three-year passion project in the 1990s, The Key to the Kingdom, which won a D&AD award and is now being revived in book form.
13. Biomuseo, Frank Gehry’s astonishing natural history museum in Panama City, which was conceived in 1999 and opened in October 2014.
14. Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation building in Marseilles. It's a modernist residential housing design principle he developed with the collaboration of painter-architect Nadir Afonso from the 1920s-1940s.
15. Antoni Gaudi’s Barcelona’s Cathedral, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família . It began construction in the 1880s but has never yet been completed.
16. The restoration of two beautiful railway stations: St Pancras in London and Gare d’Est in Paris.
17. Product design: there are many examples but, to my mind, the first Apple Mac and the iPhone 5 are the most influential.
Issue 300 of Computer Arts will be available on Friday 6 Dec in all good booksellers and direct from My Favourite Magazines.