Will internet connected devices change the world we live in? Little Printer founder Matt Webb heads the line up at Designival in Liverpool this afternoon (Friday), promising to make you think about the life you lead and that dodgy router in the living room. Scott McCubbin reports…

Designival is a celebration of the best in design. It was launched five years ago as a response to the fact that in a city where we pride ourselves on our creativity, there really wasn’t much on offer in terms of high quality creative events. 

Three design agencies in the city – Smiling Wolf, Uniform and Black & Ginger joined forces because we wanted to make sure that Liverpool was on the creative map. We invited some pretty good, inspirational speakers and it went rather well. Next thing we knew, we had guests travelling from London and across the North from leading agencies. Last year we had Simon Manchipp from Someone – an amazing personality and entertainer, a showman with the stories and advice to die for. We also had Lance Wyman, a graphic design icon, who flew over especially from New York City to headline the event.


Designival is for all creatives, and those interested in creativity, aimed at professionals, we welcome and encourage aspiring creatives – young and old, from design and graphics, digital and advertising to design technology and innovation. It’s for art directors and copywriters and everyone who plays a part or shares that creative passion. It’s an opportunity to hear from the best and mix with the best, to meet your peers, to learn and to provoke discussion. That’s why, as always, this year we have visitors coming from some of the most recognised agencies in Manchester including Love, TBWA, True North and The Neighbourhood as well as our own fraternity. This is an event that attracts the best talent.

We have a mix of talks and interviews and we like to think you’ll feel proud and glad that you’re in Liverpool, and reinvigorated in the power of amazing creative work. 

This year it’s a Designival Mini, a tighter version of the usual event as a launch pad for the larger affair we’re already planning as part of the International Festival for Business. We’ve got Matt Webb, the founder of London design studio Berg. Berg has been at the forefront of the Internet of the Things, named among US magazine, Fastco’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World. Their Little Printer was hailed as a breakthrough in terms of ‘internet connected’ devices, receiving global attention and featuring in Designs of the Year. In short, he’s a real pioneer.

What’s more, we’ve got Patrick Burgoyne editor of Creative Review interviewing both Matt and our second speaker, Paul Davis. Paul is an illustrator known for his satirical style, but has worked on campaigns for brands like IBM and Virgin Atlantic. He’s a character who’s not short of opinions.

For more traditional design and advertising creatives, Erik Kessels is proving the big draw. Erik is the driver behind some amazing campaigns, including ‘I amsterdam’, a long term place branding campaign for the city. Place marketing is notoriously difficult, incredibly complex, needing a depth of understanding rarely achieved, so we’re looking forward to learning how he is managing this difficult task with so many different interests pulling in different directions.

By all accounts, he’s an eccentric sort of chap, who is also likely to tell us about how his success at branding the World’s Worst Hotel.

And once that’s over, the audience finds itself in the middle of Camp & Furnace’s Food Slam, so what’s not to like. It’s worth nipping out for lunch and forgetting to go back.

Designival, Camp and Furnace
22nd November


Scott McCubbin works at Uniform.

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