9 Not-To-Miss Design Events for Your 2016 Diary!

— 5 minutes, 26 seconds read —
design events 2016

When you need a touch of fresh inspiration, there’s nothing better than closing your laptop for the night and heading out to a design event or conference for getting those creative thoughts flowing once again.

These events give you the chance to see what else is happening in your industry as well as network and make potentially career-changing contacts. We’ve put together a selection of the very best ones both here in the UK and across the world, so get your diary out and mark down these very important creative dates:

1. Manchester Print Fair

Manchester Print Fair

We’re starting local with Manchester’s ever more popular community print and design event, the Manchester Print Fair. This event brings together the most talented artists, designers and photographers from all over the North West and allows them to showcase the best of their work and run exciting workshops. Here you can browse and buy prints, photographs and works of art from local creatives and even exhibit and sell your own work if you fancy it. What’s more, the fair runs two or three times in a year, so if you miss one you can always catch the next one.

Venue: The Peoples History Museum, Manchester

Date: Sat 19th – Sun 20th March

Visit the website

2. Design Indaba

Design Indaba

Taking you all the way to sunny South Africa now, the Design Indaba creative festival spans 6 cities in 10 days and celebrates all manner of creative achievements and personalities. An unmissable event in this festival is the Design Indaba Conference, featuring a series of talks and presentations from incredible creative thinkers including designers, film makers and musicians from all over the world. Perhaps it’s time to plan an extra special trip?

Venue: Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa

Date: Weds 17th – Fri 19th February

Visit the website

3. Chip Shop Awards

Chip Shop Awards

Back to the UK now for an event that’ll bring you something a little bit different. The awards are all about challenging creativity in advertising with absolutely no limits, so you can imagine the results can be a little close to the knuckle. Creatives can enter as individuals or as teams (students get a discounted rate) and compete in a range of crazy categories. Whether you choose to enter or not, you can attend the award ceremony and witness the incredible – and often hilarious – responses from this year’s creatives. Trust us, it’s totally worth it.

Venue: TBC – London

Date: June 2016 – (exact date TBC)

Visit the website

image: The Drum

4. TYPO Berlin

Typo Berlin

Each year Berlin plays host to one of the most established design conferences in Europe; TYPO Berlin. Partly organised by designer Erik Spiekermann, TYPO 2016 addresses the concept ‘Beyond Design’ wherein speakers will discuss the strategy of responsible design and the design of the future. Speakers include familiar names such as Jonathon Barnbrook and Mr Bingo and a whole host of others discussing a range of topics to give you plenty of food for thought. Tickets are like gold dust, so grab one while you can!

Venue: House of World Cultures, Berlin

Date: Thurs 12th – Sat 14th May

Visit the website

image: Typo Berlin by Gerhard Kassner

5. London Design Festival

London Design Festival

LDF is essentially one huge celebration of the incredible creativity that thrives in the city of London, attracting visitors from all over the UK and world. Here you can absorb the genius from the city’s most talented thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators, all whilst enjoying this year’s multitude of visual and conceptual exhibitions. What’s more, this marvelous festival boasts over 300 individual events spanning the city over the course of an entire week, so there’ll be no shortage of creative inspiration to keep you occupied.

Venue: The city of London

Date: Sat 17th – Sun 25th September

Visit the website

image: Heartbeat by Charles Pétillon in Covent Garden: Photo by Katherine from the Londonist Flickr Pool

6. OFFSET Dublin

Offset Dublin 2016

OFFSET is Dublin’s very own internationally renowned creative conference spanning three glorious days of discovery. This lively event consists of a series of talks from some of the best thinkers in design, illustration, advertising, animation, film and even fashion, so there’s something for absolutely everyone. It combines all of this information and education with some great, informal networking parties in the evenings where you can meet and chat with the speakers if you’re feeling bold.

Venue: The Bord Gáís Energy Theatre, Dublin

Date: Fri 8th – Sun 10th April

Visit the website

7. Generate London

Generate London

The Generate conferences have been rolling since 1994 and celebrate the very best talents and developments of the web design industry. This year’s London conference promises to be brimming with exciting content from the world’s best speakers, so you can gain invaluable skills and knowledge and be inspired by their ideas. Generate will run over a two day period, giving you the chance to see and network as much or as little as you like without the risk of missing a single thing. Don’t forget, Generate is also hosted in New York this year; a perfect excuse to book a ticket to the States if you ever needed one.

Venue: London, to be announced soon. New York, New World Stages

Date: London, to be announced soon. New York, Fri 22nd April

Visit the website

image: net magazine


aiga design conference

One of the biggest design events in most creatives’ calendars, the AIGA design conference is well worth planning into your year. 2016 will see AIGA arrive in the glittering city of Las Vegas and treat us to over 100 exciting speakers (including Paula Scher), countless networking parties, competitions and creative exhibitions. And that’s not all, AIGA conferences also give you the chance to take part in exciting face-to-face roundtables with some of your favourite designers, so you can really get the most out of the experience. Did we mention it’s in Vegas?

Venue: Mirage, Las Vegas

Date: Mon 17th – Wed 19th October

Visit the website

9. Pick Me Up 2016

pick me up graphic arts festival

The Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival is returning for 2016, and it promises to be a real visual treat. Now in it’s 7th year running, this year’s festival will see work from top emerging designers and illustrators as well as some of the more familiar and established names in the industry. You’ll be treated to a series of daily talks and some great workshops with the designers, artists and illustrators. And, as if that wasn’t enough, London-based agency Hato will be at the festival enlisting the public to create a new, collaborative alphabet. If you design a letter you might see it featured in elements of Pick Me Up’s publications and signage – so get your hands on some tickets immediately!

Venue: Somerset House Trust, London

Date: Thurs 21st April – Mon 2nd May

Visit the website


Angela Roche