Graphic Design Festival Scotland 2016

Graphic Design Festival Scotland returns to Glasgow next month with a brilliant programme of hands-on creative workshops, exhibitions, talks and a live project for up-and-coming graduates. Here’s a look at what’s in store

Posters created by Freytag Anderson and Callum Laird using Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist's identity for GDFS 2016
Posters created by Freytag Anderson and Callum Laird using Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist’s open-source identity for GDFS 2016

Graphic Design Festival Scotland was founded by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist of Warriors Studio. The festival has a particular focus on learning and collaboration: through workshops, talks and competitions, it aims to provide a platform for emerging talent, connect students and graduates with industry and bring graphic design into the public domain.

This year, Gilchrist and Wilson have teamed up with various agencies and studios to offer one and two-day creative workshops. You can create custom type with Grilli Type, try your hand at visual merchandising with Urban Outfitters, make an illustrated publication with help from Nous Vous or take a branding master class with Studio Koto. Wieden + Kennedy will also be hosting a workshop focused on rapid idea generation, resulting in a “Book of Failures” at the end of the session.

A live project on October 19 will give up-and-coming creatives a chance to work on a brief with help from some of Scotland’s leading creative agencies. Participants will be given one day to create a piece of work and projects will be judged by a panel including CR’s Rachael Steven, with winners receiving work placements and prizes.

Graphic Design Festival Scotland's International Poster exhibition in 2015
Graphic Design Festival Scotland’s International Poster exhibition in 2015

Nous Vous, Grilli Type, Koto, Copenhagen studio PutPut, Wieden + Kennedy and the Design Displacement Group are taking part in a one-day conference on October 23 and an evening of talks on October 17 will explore tech trends and the future of housing. Speakers include open-source housing project Wikihouse and The Future Laboratory.

Exhibitions include an audio-visual presentation from the Design Displacement Group, a collection of photographs, sculptures and objects from PutPut and an International Poster exhibition featuring entries to the festival’s annual poster competition.

Wilson and Gilchrist worked with Glasgow studio Freytag Anderson to create an open-source identity for the festival and are inviting creatives to rework their designs to create their own posters. Source files are available to download from the festival website and posters can be uploaded to an online gallery.

The identity is inspired by the idea of process, collaboration and “the dialogue which unfolds as ideas are developed and visualised.”

“We want to create something which is more than a functional identification tool for the festival, but something which is living, evolving and can represent the raw energy and creativity that the festival provides,” say Gilchrist and Wilson.

Graphic Design Festival Scotland poster by Anthony Skujins (shown left) and Dani Lust
GDFS 2016 posters by Anthony Skujins (left) and Dani Lust
GDFS 2016 posters by Warriors Studio & Freytag Anderson (left), and Ilya Ilyukhin
GDFS 2016 posters by Warriors Studio & Freytag Anderson (left), and Ilya Ilyukhin

Graphic Design Festival Scotland takes place in Glasgow from October 17 to 23. For details, see

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