First time writing up a blog here, and what better way to get into the flow of writing than to talk about my recent experiences, right? Well in a designer’s perspective, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing today…
A little over a few weeks ago, I was adamant to throw myself into knowing more about design. As the sole creative in our team, it’s all the more important to learn more about my industry and grow into this role.
So after some researching, I came across a nearby event that is fairly new – ‘Birmingham Design Festival’. Simply put, the event is revolved around design, but what caught my eye was the categorisation of their talks, workshops and sessions. Spanning over three days in three different locations, each place focused on a specific type of design; Product, Graphics and Digital districts. It would be up to the creative to pick which district tickle their fancy, an interesting tactic to do for people like me who’d like to explore more than one design industry.
This year’s topic of talk was ‘Truth’ – the exact interpretation of this was discovered after attending the events! With the day events being held for free, it was a done deal! I ended up booking talks in the Graphic District on Friday and Digital District on Saturday.
After a short trip on the train, my arrival at Birmingham City University on Friday (pre-rain showers) was greeted by friendly volunteers. They handed me a free tote bag containing the talk schedule and purpose of the festival, adding a festival touch by stamping my hand with their brand logo! Roaming around the Parkside building made me initially notice the varied people that turned up to the event, from students within the university school of design, to senior professionals from design agencies.
Along the foyer of the design event were design books being sold, graphic essentials, and a screen printing booth to imprint the BDF logo onto the tote bag. A fun space to meet and talk to likewise designers anticipating the talks ahead!
This differed from the location change on Saturday – where the creativity was more on the walls and streets instead of activities. Another train journey down south on a Saturday morning took me to Digbeth, the heart of Birmingham’s custard production – now better known now as the Creative Hub.
Both the Graphic and Digital districts had talented speakers who have achieved great success in their field of creativity on a global scale. For me the speakers listed below truly caught my attention with their inspiring thoughts, experiences and interesting (to say the least!) presentations:
So, going back to BDF’s theme, ‘Truth’. What truth was unveiled?
For me, each speaker explored the different aspects towards the authenticity in design; its processes, its failures and the genuine passion for each project and customer. From finding out the ‘truths’ of design, the key learning curve I can adapt to our services is making the creative process as authentic as possible. This means asking more questions about a client’s demographic, setting realistic time scales for tasks, and most importantly, asking how the designs I’m doing can benefit or improve the customer’s experience.
Also, don’t be an asshole. Ever.
I’d like to thank the sponsors who have helped Birmingham Design Festival become an up and running event for budding creatives like myself. Go follow BDF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to know what else was happening during these jam-packed events. I hope next year more people are able to experience it. For the ones that are definitely planning to go, take notes and have fun!