Design Event North East aims to develop designers in the early or middle stages of their careers, as well as promoting design in the region. Although the programme is yet to be announced, this year’s event will include exhibitions, video installations, the Design Event Mart and talks, all inspired by the theme of communication.
Sumo approached Design Event North East to redesign its identity after creating the 2007 brochure and producing a democracy-themed exhibition for Design Event last year. When discussing Sumo’s 2010 exhibition application with organisers, the consultancy offered to create the branding for this year’s event free of charge.
Sumo managing director Jim Richardson says, ’Festivals like this have had a hard time recently. If designers want events like this, they’ve got to support them – and not just by turning up.’
Design Event North East briefed Sumo to produce creative that was heavily typographical and conveyed the information quickly, but was playful and accessible, according to Richardson. The identity, created by Sumo designer Gavin Downey, will first appear on the festival’s website, and will also be used on print publicity, including the brochure and the Mart catalogue.
The new identity coincides with a decision to change the festival’s name from Design Event to accommodate plans to take the festival to London. Design Event North East plans to take between five and eight designers to exhibit in the Futures area of 100% Design in September.
Design Event North East marketing manager Kala Preston says, ’For the first time we’re taking the work out of the region. Design Event 10, which is what this year’s event would have been called, didn’t give a good indication of what we’re about.’
Design Event North East has also organised a programme of professional development events before the main festival in October, under the banner Design Exchange. The first of three summer workshops, Understanding Your Business, was held last week, and the second and third, Developing Your Markets and Exploring Production, will take place in June and July.
This year Design Exchange will also include Pecha Kucha nights and talks, including The Business of Design in June, which will feature designers Giles Miller and Susan Bradley and furniture design group Deadgood in June. Preston says, ’We chose Miller and Bradley because the story of how they’re developing their businesses at this point in their careers is really interesting.
Deadgood is already well along its journey, but is similarly inspiring.’
Design Event North East events
24 June – Talk: The Business of Design
25 June – Workshop: Developing Your Markets
13 July – Workshop: Exploring Production
15 July – Pecha Kucha night in Newcastle
23-26 September – Design Event North East at 100% Design
22-31 October – Design Event North East festival