The hard work has certainly paid off. The index is brimming with bright talent and showcases some of the most exciting new work in the creative industry today. Including work by Hailun Ma, Myungsik Jang and Wang Zhi-Hong, the index also features some It’s Nice That favorites. But not only does the platform benefit creatives, it also serves as an important tool for them. “This public index, from Instagram posts alone, has introduced and connected me to such a diverse group of artists and a world of crafts and art like I’ve never seen before!”, Daphne Chow, founder of Ilyang Ilyang – a Philippines-based “hardcore handmade crochet” boutique. “It’s very simple, allowing us to discover each other, contact each other and create a relationship from there. It’s hugely inspiring that it motivates me to keep creating and to keep supporting Asian designers around the world,” she says.
When designing the index, the team knew they had to make it “dynamic”, explains Freda Lai, designer at Anak. With the logo conceptualized as a “container” – “allowing images of all kinds to sit between the R’s of the logomark which have been customized to resemble quotation marks” – and a monotonous color scheme, the identity was deliberately designed to direct the focus to creative work. Taking a hybrid approach to typography to suit the nature of the index format, the designers applied a Google font, IMB Plex Sans, which has “the characteristics of a digital and functional element for an index that doesn’t exists only on the World Wide Web,” explains Freda. Paired with VJ’s elegant Love type, it represents the “timeless, fluid side” of the index finger while bringing a “sleek, modern mix” to the typography. The designers applied an editorial format for the index system that allowed for over 300 different layouts using a single grid, which Freda considers “really expressing the feeling that ACI is this expansive ecosystem and chaotic that comes together quite harmoniously”.
Discussing how the platform might be received, Juliana says, “We’d like people to use it, enjoy it, and ideally share it with their creative communities and networks.” And, more importantly, Anak also wants ACI to play a role in expanding the geographic reach from which creatives draw inspiration. “We want Icelandic designers to be inspired by the Index; or Bolivian producers collaborating with the creators we have presented. said Julienne. “Anything and everything is possible, and there is no longer any excuse for living in our bubbles, without tapping into the rich global creative community that exists.”