Picks of the month: the best design events to catch in July

The country might be easing its way out of lockdown, but many of the design events for the month ahead are still taking place in the virtual world, here are our favourites.

Graduate showcase: D&AD New Blood

This year marks the 40th edition of D&AD’s New Blood festival, and like so many other events in 2020 things will be celebrated a little differently this time around. The Coronavirus pandemic has pushed the festival and awards to migrate online this year, with five days of content hosted by the organisation — including webinars and workshops, job opportunities and the graduate work showcase. The overarching theme for the festival is “This > That”, and each of the days will explore different iterations of this; the first day, for example will see creatives Lydia Pang and Tyrone James Drake debate the topic “Practice > Theory”, while the final day will question whether “Mind > Machine”.

Info: The showcase will take place 6–10 July. Registration for webinars is now open. To find out more head here.


Festival: Lost Horizon

As Design Week reported last month, the first weekend in July will see the world’s largest virtual arts and music festival, Lost Horizon. The two-day event is being put on by the creatives behind Shangri-La, the progressive music and arts stage at Glastonbury. Virtual festival-goers will experience the event via a dedicated online platform, developed by VRJAM and Sansar. As with previous iterations of Shangri-La, much of the emphasis will be on art which has been curated by creative director Kaye Dunnings and Malcolm Garrett, co-founder of Design Manchester.

Info: The festival will take place 3 – 4 July. The platform will be free to access but charitable donations are welcome. To find out more head here.


Panel: AIGA NY x Queer Design Club

Queer Design Club (QDC), the online community for LGBTQ+ creatives to connect and share work and opportunities, will be hosting an online conversation around the queer experience in design early in the month. The virtual event, held via Zoom, will first see QDC founders John Hanawalt and Rebecca Brooker (who spoke last month to Design Week about the role of design during Pride) discuss the results of the first ever QDC Count, an industry-wide survey of LGBTQ+ voices. The survey, conducted earlier this year, aims to amplify queer voices and highlight the challenges and tensions that are faced by the community. Following this, QDC members will join the conversation to discuss the findings.

Info: The panel will take place at 20h00 BST on 7 July. It will be free to access but requires registration. To find out more head here.


Conference: UXBristol

With this year being the tenth anniversary of the UXBristol conference, organisers have pulled out all the stops to ensure the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t derail proceedings completely. As with other events in this list, the event will be going ahead remotely with a series of online sessions held over three days. Four sessions held during the first two days will be ticketed events, covering the likes of designing for good and storyboarding. The final day will involve a number of free to access short talks from designers, who will discuss ideas and disciplines including service design, integration and storytelling.

Info: The conference will take place 15 – 17 July. Some events will require paid tickets, others are free to access. To find out more head here.


Interactive: Multi-Sensory Typography Month

Since 2013, Sarah Hyndman has been on a mission to explore how typography can subconsciously affect our everyday lives, from how we feel, to how food tastes, through her Type Tasting research. To share this information, she has often taken to live demonstrations and installations, but with the onset of the coronavirus lockdown, these have gone online. Over the past few months, Hyndman has expanded her virtual offering, and July will see her dedicate the entire month to multi-sensory experiences. Each event hosted during the month will be preceded by a list of easy-to-source items to sniff, drink or taste, and the main event will include interactive demonstrations and activities for all to get involved with.

Info: Interactive sessions with Sarah will take place throughout the month, and can be booked via the website. To find out more head here.

Book: Art =, by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Max Hollein

With the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) celebrating its 150th birthday this year, art and design book publisher Phaidon has collaborated with the establishment on a new title, Art = Discovering Infinite Connections in Art History. Nearly 900 pieces from the Met’s collection spanning 5,000 years are included in the 448-page volume, separated into three colour-coded chapters: Material/Technique, Period/Place/Style and Object/Subject. The book itself has been designed and edited to be both “dynamic and accessible” and encourages readers to “follow their own interests”, through 178 pages of expert essays.

Info: The book will be published on 1 July, by Phaidon. It will cost £59.95. To find out more head here.


Also check out:

  • Collectarium – at the start of lockdown, graphic design lecturers Dr Sophie Beard (UCA) and Allyson Waller (University of Brighton) tasked themselves with collecting a photographic memoir of creative face coverings. The mission has seen them interact with people in countries across the world and now, the pair have shared their series and are asking others to get involved. Head to Collectarium’s Instagram to find out more.
  • Family learning resources from House of Illustration – with parent’s having to take up the mantle and teach kids throughout lockdown, creative activities have been necessary. While there may only be a few weeks left of school to return to now, those still looking for child-friendly, design-based entertainment should check out the House of Illustration’s family resources – a series of six accessible, hands-on tasks which have been adapted for the home. Head to the House of Illustration’s website for more information.
  • Seymour Chwast: Inspiration and Process in Design – co-founding his first studio in 1954, Seymour Chwast has had a long and successful career in the design world. Known for his diverse body of work, which includes 30 children’s books, four graphic novels and several typefaces, the designer has a lasting influence on visual culture. In this book, author Steven Heller interviews Chwast and examines his working processes, unpicking the brain of the man for all to see. The book will be published on 14 July, for more information, head here. (We also spoke to Chwast this week about his memories of working with the late Milton Glaser)

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