Seeing as the trend was "in like a lion, out like a lamb" (not to be confused with Snoop's new moniker or Gwen Stefani's clothing label), we'd hesitate to declare that this was the year that hip-hop asserted itself into design. Even so, our London correspondent Sam Dunne couldn't help but notice that a handful of music moguls saw fit to try their hand at a different craft, to varying degrees of success...
Will.i.am made creative director at Intel, Kanye West voes to pick up where Steve Jobs left off, Dr. Dre's Beats pulls off miraculous PR stunt at London Olympics and see sales rocket, Jay-Z adds 'Logo Designer' to his ever expanding resumé...
2012 wouldn't be the first year that celebrities—A-list to Z—tried their bejewelled, manicured hands at a bit of 'design.' Peculiar to this year, however, was a cavalier rapping on the steely gates of industrial design world—a visit from none other than contemporary hip-hop royalty. Kanye West greeted the New Year by declaring himself—with disturbing self-assurance—the rightful heir to the late, great Steve Jobs, proposing the establishment of a progressive new design studio, DONDA, named after his own dear mother.
Only weeks later, chuckles (with only a pinch of jealousy and faint hint of terror) could be heard throughout the design industry as Will.i.am was announced as the newly appointed Creative Director of bluechip giant Intel, in a similar stunt to Lady Gaga's appointment at Polaroid in 2011.
Twenty-twelve may also be the year we remember for the audio electronics industry being overrun by Dr Dre and co.—the red Beats 'b' emblazon upon vaste swathes of urbanites and the brand pulling off a remarkable PR play at the London Olympics, laughing all the way to the bank. If that wasn't enough, rap mogul Jay-Z also found time between business, babies and Beyoncé to redesign the logo for his newest toy, the Brooklyn Nets.
* * *
Core77 2012 Year in Review
» Top 25 Stories of 2012
» Slow and Steady Growth for Digital Fabrication
» Crowdfunding in the Mainstream: Good or Bad News for Designers?
» Hip-Hop Meets Design
» Designing Nostalgia
» Vehicles Increasingly Going Electric