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This Worked 2016 Download our Review of the Year

Download our review of the year This Worked using the button below, and read on to find out more about this project…

As a measure of quality or success, popularity has its pitfalls. This can be especially true in the creative world, where any perception of “playing to the crowd” can be seen as selling out. But without being blinded by data, there is still value in seeing what creative work particularly resonates with any given audience, and to consider what this says about where culture is right now.

It’s in that spirit we present This Worked 2016. It’s a look at which creative projects proved most popular with the WeTransfer users over the past 12 months.

WeTransfer gives away 30% of its online inventory to showcase and promote projects we love from artists, designers, musicians, photographers, illustrators, architects, fashion designers, filmmakers and more. In 2016, that meant three billion pages being gifted to the creative community.

We’ve crunched the numbers to work out which background images, or wallpapers, attracted the most interest from the WeTransfer users. Then we divided these into six categories so we – and you – can compare and contrast the mix of projects within each section. These are photography, art, animation, design, illustration and music.

We are deliberately not billing this as the best projects of the year, because we understand that any definition of “best” when it comes to creativity is fraught with difficulty. Nevertheless, with more than 280 million unique users on the site this year, we believe it is interesting to see which work proved most popular.

It is, as you’d expect, an eclectic collection. Each of us in the editorial team has our favourites represented here (equally all of us has many projects we love which didn’t make the final cut).

Personally I am pleased to see 12 countries represented, although I acknowledge that there is work to do to feature more work from those areas currently under-represented – Africa, South America and Australasia in particular.

It is also pleasing to see exactly as many women as men in the final selection – 11 each, with eight projects involving more than one person where we haven’t recorded gender. Of course nobody should pat themselves on the back too heartily for gender parity, but in the creative world there is still a sense men get much more of a platform.

So here’s to celebrating another year of creative excellence in 2016! And bring on 2017 while you’re at it – we’re ready to be thrilled all over again.

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