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Festival 2018

“Forward” : 7th–10th June 2018

The inaugural Birmingham Design Festival was a hit, with thousands descending on the second city in June 2018.

This was just the beginning

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 offer, 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.

2018 in numbers

6800+ tickets

Sold to attendees from across the globe.

30 venues

Across the city centre of Birmingham.

95 speakers

From Birmingham to Portland.

35 workshops

Supporting local trade and engaging the community.

“I’ve been to a lot of conferences. And sometimes, things are a bit wobbly in a new conference’s first couple of years. But here’s the deal: The Birmingham Design Festival felt as good as any of the big dog outfits out there.

From the speakers to the workshops, to the maps and materials, and finally, all the killer merch—these people did an incredible job. And this was their first time out? Imagine the second year?!

Go to this conference, free peoples of Birmingham!”

Aaron Draplin, DDC

“Really honoured to be part of this first edition. I cannot believe it was the first… with such a pro attitude and kindness with all the team toward us and everyone. You could feel the room with a warm welcoming attitude, ready to listen and share with each other. Was a great pleasure to be among you and see the success of it all, congratulations!”

Rejane Dal Bello


Johanna Drewe

Creative Director / Partner Studio Output

Anthony Burrill

Graphic Artist / Printmaker

Astrid Stavro

Creative Director at COLLINS

Mike McGee

CCO and Co-founder of Framestore

Craig Oldham

Studio Founder

Sweta Pathak

Head of Art at Health Unlimited

Anna Parker

Intervention Architecture

Aaron Draplin

Founder Draplin Design Co.

Marina Willer

Partner at Pentagram

Trevor Beattie

Advertising Legend

Jack Renwick

Creative Director

Jim Sutherland

Founder Studio Sutherl&

Kuchar Swara

Telegraph design director

Devita Davison

Executive Director of FoodLab Detroit

The Yarza Twins

Creative Directors

Pablo Stanley

Design Lead for Studio Platform at InVision

Glenn Howells

Glenn Howells Architects

Immy Kaur

Co-founder, Impact Hub Birmingham

Cris Mascort

Design Director R/GA

Zoha Zoya

Experience Designer Director at R/GA

Rejane Dal Bello

Studio Rejane Dal Bello

Tom Muller


Cheryl Jones

Director/Founding Member, Grand Union

Indy Johar

co-founder of 00 (

Mark Shayler

Do Lectures

Stuart Holt

Javelin Block

Harry Ead

DixonBaxi Design Director

Karun Agimal

DixonBaxi Designer

Kim Quazi

Director at Arup

Ross Kemp

Designer & Inventor

Paula Benson

Film & Furniture

Michele White

Rich Wells

Creative Director

Joost Beunderman

Director at 00

Kevin Thomas

Andrew Booth

Creative Director BLIND

Grant Gilbert

Founder DBLG

Gemma Germains

Senior Content Strategist at Dare

Michael Price


Lou Hisbergue

Designer at North

Sarah Drummond

Co founder and MD at We are Snook

Mark Jessett

GFSmith Paper Consultant

Thomas Harding

Head of design at Made by Many

Marksteen Adamson

Founding Partner ASHA

Salt and Pepper Creative

Senan Lee and Pansy Aung

Salt & Pepper Creative

David Saxby

Co-founder of Architecture 00

Will Lanham

Director at Of The Unknown

Two Girls Co.

Greg Willis

Make Architects

Sam Munnings

Senior Motion Designer, CG Artist & Animator at Territory Studio

Russell Clayton

Managing Director at Rosie Lee

Dave Sedgwick

StudioDBD Founder

Davor Krvavac

Executive Creative Director at B-Reel

Alastair Parvin

Strategic Designer at 00 London

Dave Draws

Zed Lightheart

Visual Artist

David Symons


Tom Harle


Michael Carr

Uniform Wares

Taz Shaikh



Lisa Maltby

Freelance designer & illustrator

Ringo Moss


Alex Acosta

Creative Managing Partner at McCann Birmingham

Cynan Clucas


Dan Mumford

Freelance Illustrator

Jo Simmons

Chief Design Officer at Friday

Andy Neal

Creative Director

Estelle Ricoux

Head of Strategy at Friday

Chris Holden


Daniel Harris

Experience Strategy Director at CX Partners

Eleni Beveratou

Creative Director at Dalton Maag

Jim Kerr

Seven9 Signs

Ian Hunter

Materials Council

Jane Bowyer

Independent Designer / Illustrator

Keith Bradshaw

Speirs + Major

Eve Warren

Brand & Packaging Designer

Andre Reid


Daniel Blyden

Design lead at Impact Hub Birmingham

Jack Sheppard

Digital Product Designer at Co-op

Sahar Afshar

Arabic & Indic Type Designer

Dr Rebecca Struthers

Struthers Watchmakers

Matt Cane

Co-founder of Cogz

Mark Hipwell


Luke Taylor


Darren Wall

Read Only Memory

Florence Okoye

Florence Okoye

UX Designer Natural History Museum

Callum York

Design Director at Nomad

Terry Stephens

Partner at Nomad

Sarah Seaton

Brand & Content Strategist

Karl Randay

Head of Design at 383

Fee Sheal

Digital & Motion Designer

Tony Matters


Naeem Alvi

Founder and MD, Notepad

Rosemarie Fitton

DeMontford Universiry


Main partners

District partners




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