Thursday 22 March 2012

Manchester Design Symposium - 21/03/2012

I have been thinking the last couple of weeks whether it is actually worth blogging about the things I am doing considering this blog is pretty informal and I never actually seem to show the work what I am doing because it isn't worth talking about (not that the work on my blog is too worth blogging about). So for now I will keep it up as much as I can, and things will remain mostly informal and see how things go!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to the Manchester Design Symposium with Vicky, Leigh, Lisa and we met up with Hazel. After going to the Made North Design Conference last month I was pretty excited to go to an event than revolved more around the design work that I do/aim to do. To begin with here is more a photo journal of our morning since Lisa had never been to Manchester before, here is how it went;

Manchester is just so full of great architecture and I would really love to just have a few days wandering around and being a real tourist rather than having to be somewhere in particular. The symposium was at Manchester town hall and it is gorgeous. Similarities to Hogwarts might have added to the event too!

After arriving we were given our day guides (droolworthingly simple design) ;

and were told about the The GF Smith Heritage Exhibition which celebrated 126 years of print, some of the work in there was great inspiration and I would love to get my hands on some samples from GFSmith or even to use it with my work one day.

As for the actual symposium I think it was fantastic. Apart from the chairs being uncomfortable after sitting down for 3 hours and that being somewhat a distraction from some of the speakers it was really interesting to hear the different views from people in the design industry all with varied backgrounds. I can't say as much about the speakers as you would get from visiting their sites all can be accessed from the Manchester Design Symposium website and I do recommend spending a good few hours looking through them as they all offer a different insight into the world of design.

We managed to speak to Morag Myerscough of Studio Myerscough in the break and she is inspirational to say the least. Her presentation and outlook on the work that she does actually makes me want to stop doing brand identity design and travel the world helping others with my skills. But for now I will see where this current path I am on takes me before making any drastic decisions.

The event gave me a lot to reflect on about where I am going to be taking my design work, where I actually want to be when I graduate and even how I want my future to pan out. All of which I can't afford to focus on too much right now since I have 8 weeks of my course left and a lot to crack on with. To summarise what I got out of the day I would say these three points;

  • Things have changed and people aren't going to make big money off branding anymore. We are going to have to go down other avenues because anyone can create a good visual brand, but can they create a meaningful identity?
  • I am going to have to become versatile.
  •  Designers all too often judge others work on how it looks. Having an instant reaction of "that looks sh*t" rather than reading into why they have done what they have done.
I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the organisers as well as the speakers that made the event what  is was. You were all a great source of information for an aspiring design student.

Hopefully I will be able to think more about the things I took from the day, but for now it's back to focusing on degree work.


  1. I am so going to use the word "droolworthingly" from now on. You've been a true inspiration David ;D