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Last month we looked at the recent history of Olympic fonts, including images from the impressive new work for the upcoming Rio 2016 games. While the Rio games may be the first Olympics in the last few years to have a branding identity designers seem to agree on, 1972's Munich games had design contributions from Otl Aicher. In addition to the poster work shown here, Aicher is credited with designing the pictograms for the Munich games, which have become a very familiar sight.

We're voracious consumers of year-end lists, truth be told, but the end-of-year tradition of the time capsule sounds a little bit less Internet-only to our ears. So today, on the first of the year, we're thinking about what we might stick in our time capsule for 2012, the year in visual culture. Here's a start.

London Olympics
Lambasted on the internet with unusual vitriol, the London Olympics logo and graphics were actually pretty solid and of the moment—infused with an English quirkiness. The controversy around the country of manufacturer for the U.S. opening ceremony outfits also highlighted an unusual intersection of fashion, politics, sports, and globalism that had people talking. London's Olympic architecture was an endless source of debate and online haterade. But altogether, it also felt like London cemented its rep as a dynamic city where new design, boundary-pushing art, and thoughtful architecture flourishes.

From day one, we were hooked on Instagram, posting photos of everything from dramatic shots of breakfast burritos to charming outakes from our 17th birthday (hashtag #ThrowbackThursday). Like no other app on our smartphone, Instagram allowed users to share what they were doing but also share their artistic vision of the world. It feels, quite literally, like an extension of who we are. Some are fleeing in light of Instagram's new user agreement terms, but many will stay and keep sharing.

Reclaimed barn wood
Did a lot of farms go out of business in 2012, because it seemed as though a lot of old barn wood was showing up in big city dining rooms? In 2012, barn wood was the star material in new retail and restaurant interiors—even homes. Call it rustic chic, call it boutique recycling, call it the last gasp of the real America, there was something about barn wood that resonated with designers this year. Look for more of it used more inventively in 2013. It isn't going anywhere, until we run out of barns, that is.

3-D Printers
Yeah, we know 3-D printing has been around a while, but in 2012 it firmly took hold of the imaginations of designers, Make magazine readers, the media, and the public at large. The Economist even devoted a special issue to the possibilities of small-scale, local 3-D manufacturing. Of course, their 3-D printing story wasn't without controversy—one could download the plans for a printable AR-15 rifle. But on the upside, 3-D printers are already showing their value in some surprising ways in small scale manufacturing—see "socially conscious design," below.

Hashtag Menswear
Blogging about menswear went from being a cult of online steez to an actual realtime phenomenon. Like an endless feedback loop, the conversation and photoblogging about men's clothes online fueled an expanded realtime culture for men to access. The marketplace is still responding and 2013 will be a year of separating the good stuff from the crap.

Socially conscious design
Designing for the developing world, the environment, and the green home bloomed in 2012. Witness the likes of foot-powered clothes washers, LED lights, and solar-powered laptops. And it was a nice feeling to read about inventive creatives putting their work to solving problems rather than adding yet another luxury dining chair to the showrooms. The challenge in 2013? To check up on these projects Fast Co Design selected and see how many come to fruition and actually make a difference.

Naturally, we're wondering what you'd put in 2012 time capsule. Let us know on the Nothing Major Facebook page.