What’s on at Graphic Design Festival Scotland

The annual festival returns to Glasgow in November, with signpainting, sculpture and type design workshops alongside talks from Kelly Anna, Stefan Sagmeister and HORST

James Gilchrist and Beth Wilson founded Graphic Design Festival Scotland in 2014, just a few months after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. It’s since become the largest design event in Glasgow, attracting 150,000 visitors and participants in the past four years.

The festival is known for its focus on collaboration – allowing participants the chance to work alongside established studios and creatives. The 2019 line-up includes hands-on workshops with creatives, brands and agencies, from Vice to Pentagram, Swiss Typefaces, sculptor Wilfrid Wood, illustrator Kelly Anna and signwriter Ciaran Global. Students and graduates will also be able to work on a creative brief under guidance from local designers in a two-day ‘live project’ before presenting their ideas to a panel of judges.

This year’s identity is based on the theme of happiness, with images of sunsets, ice cream, puppies and pizza

A one-day conference on November 22 will feature talks from Kelly Anna, Stefan Sagmeister, Pentagram’s Angus Hyland, HORT founder Eike König and Vice designer Ieva Blaževičiūtė, while evening event ‘Nitty Gritty’ promises a frank and open discussion on the practical side of life in the creative industries on November 25.

The festival also sees the return of GDFS’s annual International Poster Competition. Creatives have until October 1 to submit their designs via the GDFS website and shortlisted entries will be showcased in a book and exhibition. The creators of the top three designs (as selected by this year’s jury) will each receive a cash prize.

The 2019 identity was created by Warriors Studio (the Glasgow design practice founded by Gilchrist and Wilson), and offers a wry take on the theme of happiness. With the tagline ‘Feel Good. Buy Tickets’ alongside images of sunny fields, cute animals and sunsets, Warriors says the scheme “lays bare the bullshit mechanisms of corporate advertising and explores the role of emotion in selling products and services.”

Graphic Design Festival Scotland takes place from 22-26 November 2019. See gdfs.uk/2019 to see the full programme and buy tickets.