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Meet some of the speakers for BDF 2019

We’re delighted to announce our first set of speakers for Birmingham Design Festival 2019 (6th–8th June) and what a list it is! With a selection of four from each district, these first 12 designers showcase some of the very best aspects of our industry.

Michael Johnson

Founder Johnson Banks

Kaye Winwood

Founder of GULP

Chris Do

CEO and Chief Strategist of Blind and the founder of The Futur

Jennifer Daniel

Creative Director for Google emoji


Graphic Designers

Andre Jay Meissner

Adobe XD

Verònica Fuerte

Founder & Creative Director at Hey Studio

Liam Wong

Director & Photographer

Perrin Drumm

Founder & Director of AIGA Eye on Design

Alice Tonge

Head of 4creative, Channel 4

Erica Dorn

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Richard Small

Art Director at Sony Design

Gavin Strange

Director & Designer at Aardman Animations

Milan Moffatt

Design Lead at SuperHi

Wes O'Haire

Product designer for Dropbox, Founder of Blacks Who Design

Laura Pol

Founder of OLIO

Laura Jordan-Bambach

CCO at Mr President, Co-founder of SheSays

Dan Rhatigan

Senior Manager for Adobe Type Development

Jon Marshall

Industrial Designer at Pentagram

Chappell Ellison

Content Strategist at Huge

Mike McGee

CCO and Co-founder of Framestore

Katherina Tudball

Creative Director at Superunion London

Shu-Ting Huang

UX Designer at Kano

Bruno Schillinger

Lead Product Designer at Kano

Toshi Omagari

Type designer at Monotype

Extinction Rebellion

Tina Touli

Creative Director Tina Touli Studio

Patrick Thomas

Graphic artist

James Cross

Creative Director of BBC Creative

Merle Hall

CEO of Kinneir Dufort

Paul Woods

Chief Creative Officer at Edenspiekermann

Oliver Brunschwiler

Leadlink at FREITAG

Anna Burles

Creative Director & Founder of Run for the Hills

Michael Morgan


Kirsty Joan Sinclair

Service Designer at FutureGov

Ben O'Brien

Ben the Illustrator

Steph Hartman

Founder of Collage Club

David Wall

Designer / Director at WorkGroup

Patrick Eley

Creative Director of dn&co

Karishma Kusurkar

Designer & Entrepreneur

Toby Hextall

Director of Product Design at MOO

Felix Ackermann

Lead Product Designer at MOO

Bianca Berning

Creative Director at Dalton Maag

Abigail Flores

QA technician at ustwo games

Kota Kobayashi

Design Lead at ustwo

Sam Pierpoint

Illustrator & paper artist

Joy Nazzari

Founder of dn&co

Brendan Dawes


Bryan Edmondson

Founder, SEA

Ruth Claxton


Eriol Fox

Product & UX Designer at Ushahidi

Nick Asbury

Design writer

Trish Thomas

Head of Digital Engagement at Southbank Centre

Ollie Purdom

Chief Talent Officer for McCann Central

Jacob Dutton

Managing Director McCann iO

Richard Newbold

Executive Producer at Frontier Developments

Paul Barnes

Partner at Commercial Type

Cat Powell

Head of Artfelt at Sheffield Children's Hospial



Rob Nield

Associate at Arup

Craig Oldham

Studio Founder

Sweta Pathak

Head of Art at Health Unlimited

Maria Smith

Founding Director at Interrobang

Steve Webb

Director at Webb Yates

Adrian Franklin

CPO & Co-founder of Aula

Alessandro Columbano

Senior Lecturer at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Ally Standing

Lecturer in Contextual Studies at Birmingham City University

Mike Roberts

Chief Creative Officer at Green Room Design

Jane Anderson

Lecturer in Graphic Communication at Birmingham City University

Mike Dring

Anna Parker

Intervention Architecture

Luke Matthews

Experience Designer at 383

Tracey Thorne

Founder Ghost Streets

Adam Cox

Founder of Cavendish Pianos



Fully Justified

We’re delighted to announce our first set of speakers for Birmingham Design Festival 2019 (6th–8th June) and what a list it is! With a selection of four from each district, these first 12 designers showcase some of the very best aspects of our industry.

From leading the way in creative brand application to teaching the future generation how to code, we hope this initial list give you an indicator of what’s to come from BDF 2019.

The list above forms part of our much wider programme that currently boasts over 60 designers from around the world all touching upon the topic of Truth. This will be happening in multiple venues across the south-east side of the city centre in Digbeth, one of the city’s most creative quarters.

Much like BDF 2018, this year’s edition of the festival will see our campus split into three distinct Design Districts based on a common theme of disciplines. These are Graphic, Digital and Product.

In the Graphic Hub, you can expect to find a wonderful mix of traditional design vocation. Brand, typography, print and ink all live here inside the Parkside building of our wonderful hosts Birmingham City University.

For those of you with an inclination towards design for screen, the Digital Hub will allow you to explore UX design, animation, digital product, visual effects and much more at The Old Library.

If you want to get a little more hands-on over at BCU STEAMhouse you can enjoy a programme focussed on makers. Architecture, interior design, product design and fashion all hang out here in our Product Hub.

© Liam Wong -

In addition to the hubs, which will each host 5 free talks per day, a number of satellite venues make up the Design Districts. Featuring workshops, screenings, exhibitions and tours they are the perfect opportunity to engage with Digbeth’s many varied industrial spaces and level-up your design prowess.

Once the daytime activities are over and after a short bite to eat we then transition over to our larger evening venues where you can expect talks built around a theme, with big-name speakers travelling from far and wide to share their knowledge and experience.

On Thursday night we rekindle the Glug Birmingham atmosphere at Mama Roux’s, Friday we’ll be scaling things up at The Giant Screen in Millenium Point and Saturday sees a return to the beautiful Royal Conservatoire.

We’re really excited to share more information on the programme soon, and you can be the first to know by picking up a ticket to Glug Birmingham on Thu 4th April. As well as getting a breakdown of our main events there will be four outstanding talks from speakers Claire Farrell, James Greenfield, Annatomix and Joseph Liu.

Tickets for BDF 2019 will go on sale early May, with a full programme announcement shortly before. If you’re planning to attend the full festival our partners Bloc Hotels will have a special discount code for 2019 attendees launching soon.

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