For every two graphic designers, it seems, there are three opinions. I’ve been studying answers to questions we pose each year to our People To Watch and Students To Watch — favorite book, fine artist, music, website, etc. — to mine for clues as to what you all are thinking, feeling, planning, doing. As usual, it is largely a fruitless and patternless task. For example, the 2014 design students cumulatively listed 55 favorite bands; not one single musician is mentioned twice. Another example: this year’s group of working designers mentioned 51 fine artists, with no overlap but for two mentions of Miro and Picasso.
Nonetheless, I did manage to find a couple of points of consensus. One relates to favorite gadgets: the Apple “i’s”, as in iPhone, iPad, iPod, are popular. Yawn.
Movies turned out to present a more intriguing accord. Among this year’s People To Watch cohort, Blade Runner is the clear favorite.
As you may know, the three decade old film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019 in which genetically engineered robots called replicants, indistinguishable from humans, who do the jobs Americans will not take on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy a ban and return to Earth are hunted down by special police known as “Blade Runners.” The film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, is a dark, violent, neo-noir, paranoia-inducing — and visually-stunning — exploration of the dangers of a high-tech future and the ambiguities of what it means to be human. That our readers selected Blade Runner from among all the films ever made must mean something. What that is, I am not entirely certain.