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Conference 2021

“Colour” : 16th–20th August 2021

Vroadcast online to 500 people live and on-demand, with multiple nights of talks from celebrated designers sharing their love of colour in all its forms in our Vito hub.

Forever delayed

2020 was due to mark the first year BDF became a biennial festival and conference, with BDF Conference celebrating colour over two days at The Royal Conservatoire.

Hit by the pandemic, after a series of successful online events, we decided to host the conference digitally in August 2021 – launch by an exhibition celebrating 100 Birmingham based artists and designers held in-person at the Market Hall in Digbeth named The Creative City.

2021 in numbers

500 tickets sold

Watched online around the world

Over 1,000 visitors

To the exhibition launch

40+ billboard sites

Exhibiting 100 local artists around the city


Daniel Eatock

Brian Collins

Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS


Artist & Illustrator

Eddie Opara

Partner at Pentagram

Momtaz Begum-Hossain

Colour Expert & Modern Colour Theorist

Liz West

Patrick Thomas

Graphic artist

The Creative City

Opening this Summer’s postponed Birmingham Design Festival was a new and exciting exhibition launching on, titled ‘The Creative City’. Aligning with 2021’s theme of ‘Colour’ this exciting and vibrant exhibition, confidently celebrated Birmingham.

Over 100 of our regions finest illustrators, designers, typographers, printmakers and artist all produced a large format poster – utilising the same colour palette. The work was a mixture of the personal and commercial, featuring everything from family histories to celebrations of food and music.

See all the artwork

The Artists

Abbie Reilly • Adam Guy • Adam Lloyd • Alastair Taylor • Andy Roberts • Anjuli McKenna • Annatomix • Antonio Roberts • Arthur Kearns • Ash O’Brien • Barbara Gibson • Becky Bell • Ben Javens • Beth Ingleton • Bex Whitling • Brumhaus • Byng • Cairo Hamilton • Callum Barnes • Charlotte Banks • Charlotte Jenkins • Cherie Kwok • Chris Day • Common Curiosity • David Henshaw • Ellie Hunter • Emily Caplan • Emily Jeffrey • Esme Stillaway • Farah Girach • Fokawolf • Folk Like These • Gareth Davies • Gaz Burns • Grace Tomlinson • Hannah Parkes • Hapico • Helen Wheeler • Ian Jones • Imbue • Irish Nicole T. Abenoja • Jen Leem-Bruggen • Jess Webberley • Jim Howells • Jody Woodhouse • John Williamson • Jonny Mcgarry • Joseph Frascina • Josh Cutts • Justin Sola • Kat Tromans • Keith Dodds • Kieran Glennon • Kristian Jones • Lindsay Baker • Lisa Barrett • Lou Chorley • Lucky Pablo • Luke Sewell • Luke Skinner • Luke Tonge • Luke Waller • Mack Stevens • Mark Murphy • Martin Donnelly • Mattie Lynch • Meg Hickman • Mengxia Liu • Michelle Turton • Nathan Chan • Neeraj Kainth • Niyran Gill • Old Bort • Olly Wells • PET CLUB • Pheeb Robinson • Pickle Illustration • Poppy Small • Raj Dhunna • Ravnita Rayet • Rebecca Howson • Robert Lockley • Roots • Rosie Clarke • Sarah Bagshaw • Sarah Easter • Seven 9 Signs • Shaun Loynds • Shiyi Li • Sleep Sparrow • Studio Baldwin • Super freak • Tasia Graham • Ted Jones • Tina Jiwa • Tom Woolley • Tomas Rowell • Vanessa Mountain • Window Artists • BDF

Main partners

District partners



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