Skip to main content

Previous speakers

From architects to product designers, graphic illustrators to branding gurus we’ve had over 300 speakers in the first five years of the festival, who have all made their mark on BDF history.

Oliver Jeffers


Sonal Jhuj

Global Brand Director, LEGO

Aaron Draplin


Veronica Fuerte

Hey Studio

Alice Tonge

Channel 4 Creative

Chris Do

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

Wes O’Haire

Dropbox, Founder Blacks Who Design

Erica Dorn

Graphic Designer, Isle of Dogs

Jim Sutherland

Studio Sutherl&

Liam Wong

Director & Photographer


Graphic Design for the Wizarding World

Jennifer Daniel

Creative Director of Emoji at Google

All previous speakers

Johanna Drewe

Creative Director / Partner Studio Output

Daniel Eatock

Michael Johnson

Founder Johnson Banks

Oliver Jeffers

Visual Artist & Author

Sonal Jhuj

Global Brand Director at the LEGO Group

Lex Fefegha

Co-founder & Principal Designer at COMUZI

Brian Collins

Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS

Gemma O'Brien

Designer & Artist

Abbie Heppe

Director of Live Service at Media Molecule

Marta Cerdà Alimbau

Designer & Illustrator

Toby Olié

Puppetry Director & Designer

Jaspar Rogers

Associate Service Designer at Snook

Anthony Burrill

Graphic Artist / Printmaker

Venessa Scott


Olivia Holbrook

Senior Service Designer at Snook

Kaye Winwood

Founder of GULP

Astrid Stavro

Creative Director at COLLINS

Ed Barrett

Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director of Animade

Mark Denton

Artist, Author & Designer

Jay Blades MBE

Furniture Restorer

Richard Turley

Corporate Shill (and design legend)

Ashleigh Jadee

Film Director


Artist & Musician

Morag Myerscough


Arisa Sudangnoi

Developer Relations Lead at Playdate

Aporva Baxi

Founder of DixonBaxi

Simon Dixon

Founder of DixonBaxi

Kate Dawkins

Founder of Kate Dawkins Studio

Ailbhe Keane

Founder & Creative Director of Izzy's Wheels

Ben Newman


Cassie Evans

Lead Bestower of Animation Superpowers at GreenSock

Liam Hopkins

Founder of Lazarian

Angie Bual

Creative Director at Trigger

Laura Kalbag

Co-founder of Small Technology Foundation

Ahmed Salama

UX Director at Ubisoft Stockholm

Richard O'Gorman


Beth Cosmos

Founder of Billy Rainwear

Alexa Münch

Senior Designer at Special Projects

Deirdre Figueiredo, MBE

Director of Craftspace

Graham Wood

Co-founder of Tomato

Elliot Jay Stocks

Google Fonts

Amy Victoria Marsh

Illustrator and Ceramist

Rob Lowe




Nicola Matthews

Marketing Manager at Tony’s Chocolonely

Gabriella Marcella

Designer and founder of RISOTTO

Sisterhood Studio

Rebecca Thomson & Rachita Saraogi

Lara Hanlon

Founder, Director at Portion Collaborative

Holly Wales


Carl Robertshaw

Transdisciplinary designer and artist

Helen Kaur

Lead UI Artist at Rocksteady Games

Hayley Brant

UI Director Lucid Games

Sam Frith

Creative Director at Solus

Jon Cockley

Co-founder of Handsome Frank

Michelle Turton

Illustrator, painter, and surface designer

Sarah Boris

Artist & Designer

Camila Lima

Look of the Games Head of Design at CSM Live


Founder of STUDIO BLUP

Jocie Juritz

Animation Director

Matthew Jones

Executive Creative Director at Accept & Proceed

Zoë Barker


J.P. Vine

Director & Animator

Neef Rehman

Creative Technologist and Full-stack engineer at ustwo

Paul Reardon

Co-founder of Peter and Paul

Rachel Joy

Lettering Artist

Lucky Pablo

Jane Anderson & Ally Standing

Gurtake Singh

Design Director and Principal at Gensler

Thomas Sharp

Poet & Creative Director

Crispin Finn

Anna Fidalgo & Roger Kelly


Artist & Illustrator

Dan Woodger

Illustrator & Animation Director

Glen Yeoh

Motion Director at Moving Brands

Liz Hamburger

Design Partner at RIVAL

Cat Drew

Chief Design Officer at the Design Council

Jeryce Dianingana

Senior Environment Artist at Rocksteady

Lord Whitney

Amy Lord & Bek Whitney

June Mineyama-Smithson

Artist / Graphic Designer – MAMIMU

Melanie Tomlinson


Annabel Welbury

Director of F37® Foundry & F37® Studio

Karl Doran

Founder & Creative Director at Flow

Ella Flavell

Printmaker & Researcher


Jonas Zieher & Tony Brook

Rob Turpin

Designer & Illustrator

Kristian Jones

Multidisciplinary Artist & Lecturer

Sarah Selby

Visual Artist

Zena Kay


Harriet Cooper

Projects Director at Pentatonic

Santini Basra

Director Andthen

Shaun Loynds

Artist & Advertising Creative Director

Yee Poon

Designer & Illustrator at Supple Studio

Jamie Ellul

Founder of Supple Studio


Jonas Banker & Ida Wessel

Jimmy Turrell

Artist & Video Director

Ashwin Chacko


Amy Francis-Smith

Architect & Inclusive Access Consultant

Alice Ishiguro Tosey

Independent Designer / Creative

Holly Catford

Founder of Pit Magazine

Birmingham Collage Collective

Noah Kulman & Beth Izatt

Pencil Pot Club

Eddie Opara

Partner at Pentagram

Momtaz Begum-Hossain

Colour Expert & Modern Colour Theorist

Liz West

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

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