+$Experimental design projects can be a great way to try something different. They're an excellent alternative to the usual everyday work that's more about about creating work that's familiar and reassuring.

+$They can provide the opportunity to break from the norm and pursue a creative path that's exciting, innovative and based on fresh ways of thinking. Not only that, they can supply some stand-out work for your设计组合

+$These are the kind of projects that most of us live for. But there's one problem. When you are asked to be brave and experimental, there's a chance that your no-holds-barred, imaginative muscles have atrophied through lack of use.

+$So if you're struggling to find your creative mojo, get inspired by these 11 amazing projects, which all harness experimental design to push boundaries like never before.

+$01. Jet Packaging

Experimental design: Jet packaging

+$This innovative packing will take you to infinity and beyond+$(Image credit: NB Studio/Petit Pli)

+$Petit Pli+$has developed a whole new way of making kids' clothes that grow along with children. Thanks to aerospace-inspired pleats, Petit Pli garments can grow up to seven sizes, saving parents the hassle and expense of buying new clothes for their little darlings every few months.

NB工作室+$handled Petit Pli's branding, and as part of the process developed some unique包装设计+$that reflected the company's four themes: sustainability, fashion, aerospace engineering and kids.

+$The NB Studio team came up with the idea of packaging that can be turned into a plaything, and the end result is a delivery box that can be folded into the shape of a jet pack once it's done its job. Developing the concept required plenty of experimentation as well as a crash course in origami, but the finished packaging has paid off in more ways than one.

+$Not only does NB's design give an extra lease of life to packaging that would otherwise have been discarded, it's also proved a lot cheaper to produce than Petit Pli's previous packaging.

+$02. Interactive Dancing Robots

+$Public art is often criticised and, perhaps worse, ignored by the public its meant to serve. So to celebrate the final month of Hull 2017 UK City of Culture,杰森布鲁日工作室创造了四个大型的艺术装置,没有人可以走过去而没有注意到。

+$The Work Entitled+$Where Do We Go From Here?+$featured 6m-tall robots that interacted with passers-by and performed a sound and light show. Off-the-shelf 3D software was adapted to make the robots do their own unique dance, explains 3D visualiser Adam Heslop.

+$"We regularly build plug-ins for Cinema 4D that allow us to directly control and manipulate real-world hardware," he says. "Normally, we build a real-time link so that we can scrub the slider and see how the hardware behaves. But these robots are a lot more complex and potentially hazardous so we decided to design choreographies in C4D.

+$"We built our own inverse kinematics plug-in so that we could apply all the motion graphics tools to design each robot’s choreography. We were then able to press a button, which would export a robot program from Cinema 4D, which we could then load into the robot’s system, press Go and watch it unfold."

+$03. Microscopic Typography

Poster featuring microscopic type


什么时候美丽的模因+$was asked to advertise a new exhibition held at London’s Francis Crick Institute, Europe's largest biomedical research facility under a single roof, the team wanted to do something in keeping with the institution's essence. So they worked with its scientists to create a microscopic headline, which was 3D printed with a 100 micron depth.


+$"The processes that the Crick Institute used to create the microscopic type were all new to us as an agency," says creative director Tom Sharp. "So we had to be very adaptive to the results of the process, and allow them to define our approach to some extent.

+$"Our agency is as enraptured by science as much as we are by art – they are both quests to enrich life and deepen consciousness – and so this was a delicious project for us."

+$04. Branding with built-in asset generation

+$In 2017 Pentagram was asked to+$create the branding for Graphcore+$, a machine learning hardware start-up based in Bristol, England and Palo Alto, USA. Intriguingly, as part of the identity, Pentagram built a shape generator the internal team could use to create assets themselves.

+$This carefully balances a degree of randomness with some solid design principles. "There’s a lot of things that are very considered about it, like shapes and colour and how small the grid can get and how big the grid can get," says Pentagram partner Jody Hudson-Powell. "But within that very prescribed set of parameters there’s a nice texture that comes from random; there’s a kind of unconsidered consideredness. The other thing is when it doesn’t work the user just doesn’t save it. There’s still a human at the end of the process who’s gauging whether it feels right or wrong."

+$Handing over this degree of control of the identity to the client may seem unusual. But Hudson-Powell felt it fitted the project perfectly. "Graphcore didn't have any internal design resource – they’re a bunch of engineers trying to do something really fucking complicated," he explains. "So it's necessary to create useful things they can work with and they can generate themselves. If you don't do that, they end up not knowing how to use this expensive thing they've just bought from a design company, and finding Creative Commons imagery to use in its place."

+$05. Adaptive Typeface

Type examples

+$FS Industries' Fontsmith is an ultra-adaptive typeface

+$In the rapidly expanding digital space of 2018, fonts are having to do more and more things and more and more devices. With+$FS Industrie+$, Fontsmith set out to create a utilitarian typeface with its own unique character that works no matter your message or medium.

+$The adaptive font is basically a stop-gap until variable font technology has caught up with the needs of designers. "One of the key challenges we set ourselves was coming up with a type design that could adapt to a broad range of widths and weights without compromising its tone of voice," explains type design director Phil Garnham. "It had to be clear in all its guises, whether it was being used for interface menus or variable data advertising, and it needed to reflect the 'now' in every sense. What we set out to create was not just a typeface, but a type system with five widths and seven weights. With italics, that makes for 70 variants for each character."

+$"It is the spirit of variable design and flexibility that drove us to create FS Industrie," he adds. "A response to the changing nature of type, for brands that are responding to the changing nature of work."

+$06. Magazine With 8000 Covers

Creative Bloq的姊妹杂志计算机艺术+$has made an artform out of the 'split-run', where an issue has four or more collectable covers. But that's nothing to the astonishing 8,000 variations眼科杂志去年制作了第94版。

+$The graphic design and typography publication generated the thousands of individual covers using a variable data program called HP Mosaic. "To make ten seed files, Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir produced a file in which the letters of the word 'eye' are repeated in fixed increments and in three layers, each set in a different font of their TwoPoint or TwoPlus typefaces," explained editor John Walters in the magazine. "They are shifted laterally in distances proportionate to the letter spacing."

+$07. Indie publishing meets AR

Magazine cover on different sized mobile devices

对AR的艺术挑战来自丹麦独立杂志The Exposed



+$The experience is something like listening to a podcast while also browsing through a collection of associated photographs, and draws the reader/listener deeper into the story. Elsewhere in the mag, video is used to similar effect. It's an innovative approach that we’d like to see more publications experiment with. See our post on top独立杂志看到更多杂志打破界限。

+$08. Coding Meets Quilting

+$The fashion world has always been proudly elitist, but could new technologies make it more democratic? Based in Salford's Islington Mill studios, the artist collective known as>线程{},又名Sally Gilford,Cheryl O'Meara和Vicky Clarke尝试了一种创新的绗缝工艺,使用编码来数字化从一群当地年轻人中抽取的人类数据,并用它们在工作室创建沉浸式装置。

+$"It was like a love-hate relationship with fashion in liking the creativity but not liking the machine behind it," explains O’Meara. Adds Clarke: "I've been interested in the hack space and the maker movement, and the idea of creating one-off products that you're really involved in personally. So the idea of working with the code and the data, but also the analogue and digital processes, means you can create quite small runs and one-off works. So it's the anti-mass consumerism of the development of artworks, really."


+$09. Sustainable Fashion

Jars with coloured materials


+$Another thing about fashion that many designers would like to change is that it’s one of the world’s most polluting industries. So there's been a big movement lately towards developing the use of more sustainable materials.


+$"If clothing is going to continue to be disposable, why not make it disposable in a way that makes sense – that actually benefits the earth, in a way that has a positive impact instead of a negative impact?" says Aleksandra Gosiewski. "It takes longer to create a mind shift, so why not first create an alternative that already fits into the same mindset? This is a first step to something else."

+$10. Animated Graffiti

+$What do you get when you cross animation with AR with graffiti?+$GIF-iti+$, of course. That’s the phrase coined by London-based creative仁寺,我们的成员2018年插画家热门名单+$, when he started creating his unique animated paintings. Yes, that’s "street art" that paradoxically is only viewable online.

+$GIF-ITI is made via a laborious physical process involving numerous layers of painting and meticulous planning. Insa then photographs each hand-painted layer then uploads and overlays them to create the final piece, a looping GIF file. This comes to life when viewed through a mobile app.

+$11. Messy Magazine Design

Woman in red holds a shoe to her ear as if it were a phone.

+$Richard Turley's art-directed designs for Mushpit reflect its "scattered" aesthetic

+$To round up our feature, we thought it important to note that experimental design doesn't have to involve technical innovation. You can just experiment with new approaches using nothing but your own imagination and a bit of gumption. And that's exactly what the makers ofMushpit,目前市场上最令人兴奋的印刷出版物之一,已经完成。

+$For the 10th edition of the satirical fashion, political and feminist magazine, co-founders Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts brought designer Richard Turley on as art director. With the theme of 'courage', the issue's three-way split-run cover placed an ironic image centrally, with typewritten coverlines and handwritten details on a white background. Says Brandes: "We worked with Richard Turley to find a coherent aesthetic to match our tone of voice; messy, scattered and at times sort of brutal."