Design conferences are fantastic for inspiration & motivation.
As a designer I like to go to design based conferences, to get inspiration, stay motivated and meet other like minded people.
As a designer I like to go to design based conferences, to get inspiration, stay motivated and meet other like-minded people.
I had been looking for an all-day event to go to, and came across Reasons to, a conference regularly held in London, Brighton and even New York. Looking over past events, Reasons to seemed to feature a good range of speakers from a wide range of disciplines, which could only mean lots of inspiration!
I attended the London event, which took place in the British Library. Over the course of the day, there were 6 speakers from industry leaders, all addressing the trials and tribulations of their specific area of work and the hurdles they’d overcome to get to where they were today.
What I particularly liked was the attitude from the event runners; loud music was playing through the theatre on entering, automatically making the whole thing feel like more of a party than a conference. Also if you had come alone, you were urged to turn round to the person behind you and tell them who you are and what you do, a fantastic ice-breaker, which made me feel at ease straight away.
The speakers at the event were:
Jonathan Barnbrook – who is well-known for his David Bowie design work, my favourite of which is the Blackstar album cover, simple to look at, but typographically it’s genius! Showing the audience his design process and public feedback fails made me realise that even the industry pros are not perfect!
Lizzie Mary Cullen – a witty illustrator, whose short stories reminded me of Edward Monkton’s anecdotes yet are even more silly, slightly more dark and completely for adults. Lizzie did a great talk on how she overcame her creative block. You have probably seen her commercial illustrative work in Zizzi restaurants.
Marina Willer – a Pentagram partner, and identity designer, behind big identities such as Tate gallery, Oxfam, and Macmillan. The work she showed had clearly been strategically thought about, beautifully crafted, made great use of colour and really captured the essence of each brand. The overall talk was about each time as a designer her ideas had been dumped, and how she and her team had collectively dealt with this.
Rob Draper – a man with a very inspirational story – got to where he wanted to be in his career and through a series of unfortunate events pretty much lost everything, yet he managed to see it through with his own creative outlet, drawing beautiful hand-lettering onto coffee cups which eventually lead to him getting noticed. His typography has now featured for big brands such as Sunglass Hut, and the Golden Globes. I have recently purchased a calligraphy set myself, and this has made me want to learn hand-lettering even more now!
Juno Calypso – An award-winning photographer who works entirely alone, creating sets and using herself as a muse, talked about how she translated her university photography style into commercial photography for the fashion industry, spoke about how working alone is great in terms of the creative freedom, but how it is full of its own challenges, and how she got to where she is in her career today which seemed completely and utterly random.
Memo Akten – A very intelligent artist who is known for the reappropriation of machines, creating experiences that change our views on our relationship, with science, nature, technology, and culture. Memo has showcased his work at major venues such as the V&A museum, and Queen Elizabeth Hall. He has created amazing work with kinetic lighting systems but now focuses on personal projects, collaborations, and research.