Our annual Most Innovative Companies list isn’t simply a ranking; it is constructed to represent the state of innovation in our economy. In the Age of Flux, continuous improvement, speed of change, and breadth of ambition are more important than ever—as you’ll see by the way these companies succeed. They offer many lessons that cross industry: social is now a layer for everyone; software is the “wow” factor; data makes a big difference; and in a world of instant gratification, long-term investment still matters. You’ll no doubt find many other lessons for what works right now. Act fast: By next year, the state of innovation—and what it takes to succeed—could change again.
Fast Company enlisted Serial Cut, a creative studio based in Madrid, to tackle this year’s Most Innovative Companies opener. What they came up with is a typographic sculpture that modernizes typical corporate identity design from the 1950s and ‘60s. The artists used CAD software and printing before manually constructing the dimensional, tactile form. Notice that the “5” is actually an upside-down “2,” which works elegantly with the contours of the plastic sculpture. As the letterforms rise up, the waves mimic a fever chart or graph.