Launched in 2018
Inspired by notable design (and non-design) festivals locally and beyond, Birmingham Design Festival’s goal for 2018 was to establish itself as a credible, accessible and enjoyable event that spanned the city and encouraged visitors to rediscover what they presumed about Birmingham.
We welcomed thousands of visitors and dozens of speakers from across the globe, showcased 30 venues and celebrated everything the design industry has to o er, from traditional graphic design to animation and special effects, product design to architecture and everything in-between.
The most amazing thing about BDF2018 was the price, with over 80 hours of free talks and workshops combined with low-cost headline events allowing people of all incomes to learn from the best in the industry.
Building community, engaging people
BDF was created to show the world that the city’s design community should be taken seriously. There’s a lot to be proud of in Birmingham, but also a lot of room for growth. We wanted to spearhead this, engage local communities and businesses, promote deisgners working out of the cityand give the students something to be a part of during & after their study has nished.
So much of BDF worked because of the fantastic response from people, not just from Birmingham but across the country, investing into what we built and making the most of the opportunity.
We were able to create such a broad, a ordable festivalbecause of the generosity of some amazing partners.
From smaller donations that helped pay for speaker’s travel expenses to the main sponsors that covered hotel rooms, merchandise and venue fees, BDF2018 created great partnerships that we hope will last for years to come.
Partners were able to engage with the festival in a very real way, hosting workshops, competitions and exhibitions that helped the brand connect with the community and become a part of our legacy.
Our industry can often be accused of being insular, self-obsessed, navel-gazing and overly critical. We were blown away by the positivity and appreciation shown both online and offline, by our media partners and guests, but particularly by our audiences. When doing something as public and visible as a Festival you have no-where to hide, and while we welcome constructive criticism we’ve been both relieved and delighted to hear almost only good things about BDF.
We know we have plenty to learn and improve upon, but we are thankful to have been so well received and genuinely enjoyed by so many in just our first year out the box!
A note from Trevor Beattie
‘Birmingham is far more than where I’m from. It’s who I am. And while I may have ventured far and wide (ok, to London) in search of my creative happiness, my soul and home remain in Brum.
And although us Brummies seem to have elevated self-deprecation to a art form, there’s no-one prouder of their city than us. As a result, I’m absolutely bloody honoured to be involved in The Birmingham Design Festival.
And I’ll do what I can to shout Brum’s design success from our (beautifully designed) roof tops.’
Founder BMB agency