The Design Week Top 100 launched
We launched our Top 100 report this week, which looks at the most successful independent design businesses in the UK this year.
The annual report ranks the top 100 consultancies from all sectors, and is based on total fee income. It also takes into account factors such as growth, turnover, projections and staffing levels, and is independently audited by accountants Kingston Smith.
In this edition of the report, we’ve analysed the results to provide more detailed analysis on individual market sectors. We’ve also spoken to some of the leading consultancies from the report about how to grow your business and where to find fresh, young talent.
Find out more about the Design Week Top 100 and how to buy it here.
A new report warned about skills shortages in the creative industries post-Brexit
There has been much debate over the last few months around Brexit and its potential impact on the design industry. In August, the Government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to launch an open consultation for businesses and organisations to advise on how the UK’s immigration system could be structured after Brexit.
The Creative Industries Federation added its voice to the mix this week when it released its Global Talent Report, which warned that the UK could face a “disastrous skills shortage” after it leaves the European Union (EU).
The report highlighted that 75% of UK-based creative business currently employ EU workers, and 66% say there are not enough British workers to fill the places of EU workers who leave after Brexit. Some 60% of those surveyed also said they are already facing skills shortages when employing new people.
The report cites the Government’s education policy as one of the main reasons for the skills shortage, as its focus is largely on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and not creative ones.
It also makes recommendations for how the Government can reduce skills shortages among UK workers, for example by encouraging businesses to increase staff training and by reviewing creative education.
Read the Global Talent Report in full here.
The Design Museum unveiled its designs of the year
The annual Beazley Designs of the Year opened at the Design Museum in London this week.
Now in its 10th year, the award and exhibition highlights some of the most imaginative and innovative designs from over the last year, spanning architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport.
The exhibition features the 62 shortlisted projects, which have been divided up by themes such as activists, brands and makers. The exhibits are displayed around the dystopian-inspired exhibition space in the museum’s basement, which was created this year by architectural practice Carmody Groake.
We visited the exhibition and picked out some of our favourite shortlisted designs, including Cardiff-based Smörgåsbord’s place branding for Wales, a wheelchair that allows users to climb the stairs on their own, and an earpiece designed by Waverly Labs that can translate languages in real-time as people are speaking.
A winner from each category and one overall winner will be announced on 25 January 2018.
Beazley Designs of the Year runs from 18 October-28 January 2018 at the Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 6AG. Entry costs £10 or £7.50 for concessions. For more information, head to the Design Museum’s site.
We reported from Design Manchester
Design Manchester kicked off this week, and for its fifth edition the design festival has lined up an eclectic mix of workshops, talks, exhibitions and film screenings at venues across the city.
This year, visitors can expect everything from a series of exhibitions celebrating the album artwork and other graphic designs of the Buzzcocks, to an actual live performance by the Bolton-born punk band at the Ritz Manchester.
We visited the festival and rounded up our favourite exhibitions, including one at the Manchester School of Art highlighting the life and work of 20th century British textile designer Lucienne Day, and another featuring the original covers of Mancunion author Anthony Burgess’ novels, along with reimagined versions of them created by different designers.
A new exhibition opened celebrating “unknown” female designers
The lack of female representation within the design industry has been a prolific problem for as long as most designers can remember. While many girls choose to study design in the first place, the higher you go up the food chain the more this problem becomes apparent, as Kerning the Gap founder Nat Maher discussed in her recent column for Design Week.
A new exhibition opened at the London Transport Museum this week, which aims to celebrate the wealth of “criminally neglected” female graphic designers who have created transport posters over the last century, says curator David Bownes.
Poster Girls features over 150 designs such as advertising materials and safety notices for Transport for London (TfL), all created by female designers including Dora Batty, Laura Knight, Edin Marx and Mabel Lucie Attwell.
“The best of these designers are just as good as the best, male poster designers, who are quite well known,” says Bownes. “Think Abram Games, Tom Eckersley, and Tom Purvis – there are monographs about these men.”
Poster Girls runs until January 2019 at Exterion Media Gallery, London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB. Tickets cost £16 in advance or £17.50 on the door. For more info, head to the London Transport Museum site.