It’s a pretty common misconception that design is for designers, and it exists in a vacuum. It doesn’t. It influences every little bit of our lives: from the computer or phone you’re reading this on, to the clothes you’re wearing, to the way you’ve done your hair today. (Which looks really nice, by the way). It’s completely intrinsic to every little moment of life: everything we use and consume and utilise in our day-to-day existing has had some kind of thought put into it. It’s about function, communication, and making the journey through life that little bit easier.
Designival, Liverpool’s very own design conference, pops up in the city this month. Of course, the risk with festivals like this is that it’s a bit of a closed loop, but we’ve been to a couple of design conferences before, and they’re a lot more enjoyable than we’d have ever expected. As well as talking about the nitty gritty of design, they’re also – more importantly – about sharing ideas and being inspired, regardless of what you do for a job.
Conjured up by city agencies Uniform and Smiling Wolf, with Black and Ginger, Liverpool no longer has to eye up New York and London conferences with seething jealousy. Top of the bill is US designer Lance Wyman, who did the iconic Mexico 68 Olympic system, seen as a bit of a watershed moment in graphic design, talking about his life and work.
Joining Lance is cooler-than-cool toy guru and illustrator James Jarvis, who pretty much single handedly kickstarted the trend in small, perfectly formed vinyl characters (top). As well Jarvis, theres Simon Manchipp, who worked on this year’s Olympic stuff, and Belgian designer Sara De Bondt.
Happening over just two days, Designival really does pack it all in across venues like Camp and Furnace and Leaf, and studios opening their doors for a few tantalising hours’ peek behind the design curtain (in recycled polymer with a Helvetica fringe, of course) there are talks, portfolio surgeries, workshops, parties and even a ‘design breakfast’ (a Pantone-perfect fry up, maybe?) to enjoy.
22-23 November, tickets £65/£25 NUS