Head Carrier artwork credit Vaughan Oliver & Ian Pollock

Legendary US rock band Pixies release their hotly anticipated new album Head Carrier today, and next week artwork for the record by long-time collaborator Vaughan Oliver will go on display for the first time at the 2016 Northern Design Festival in Newcastle.

Born in Sedgefield, County Durham, Oliver studied at Northumbria University (then Newcastle Polytechnic) and is best known for his iconic covers for albums by influential artists such as the Cocteau Twins, Throwing Muses and, of course, the Pixies, with his striking cover for their 1989 album, Doolittle making the Guardian’s list of greatest record sleeves of all time.

He explains, “Working with the Pixies over the last 30 years has always been full of natural inspiration for me as art director and designer. Their lyrics are packed with strange and wonderful imagery and their music delivers all on a visceral salver.

With their last album I started collaborating with Ian Pollock who was able to bring characters in the songs to terrible life. Charles (Pixies’ creative lead otherwise known as Black Francis/Frank Black) gave me a bag full of lyrics and briefed Ian and myself with plenty of space to interpret. Charles likes the fact that his work goes through my filter and also Ian’s. Ian spewed out his art. I commented, guided and myself and Joshua Price (my current intern form University of Greenwich) collaged the package together. Joshua added some wooden lettering he’d designed and shot so it was all very collaborative.

Visitors to the Festival will be able to see artwork for the deluxe album set alongside work by nine other internationally renowned designers at the Assembly House on Westgate Road in Newcastle as part of graphics exhibition, Where Do Ideas Come From?  Split across ten themes including Pattern, Process, Typography, Pop Culture and Visual Puns, the exhibition features the work of leading graphic designers and image makers presented alongside unique insights into their inspirations and creative process.

As well as Vaughan Oliver, whose work spans music, fashion and film, Where Do Ideas Come From? will include witty double-take images by award-winning international artist, Noma Bar; Prototypes by Chrissie Macdonald – inspired by her interest in kinetic devices and inventions, particularly fictional ones in films from her childhood like Weird Science, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and E.T.; WallpaperSTORE* Packaging Design by A Practice for Everyday Life; Maps by typographer Alan Kitching highlighting places he has lived, worked and visited, offering a very personal journey; and a series for Cass Art pads by Pentagram’s Angus Hyland where each cover is used as a space to ex- plore the medium that is intended to be used on that particular pad. The exhibition is supported by Newcastle creative agency, JUMP.

Where Do Ideas Come From? is one of eight exhibitions at this year’s Northern Design Festival – a showcase of the best in contemporary design by leading northern, national and international designers across graphics, furniture, fashion, illustration, architecture, ceramics, textiles and lighting. Ranging from Turner Prize winners to some of the UK’s hottest emerging makers, it features work by more than 65 designers and architects, plus a programme of special events, tours and talks including the inaugural Design NOW symposium on 7 October.

The 2016 Northern Design Festival takes place from 7-16 October at venues in Newcastle and Gateshead. Download a brochure or browse the programme to find out what’s on or to book tickets online.

Dan Ziglam and Elliot Brook of Deadgood Ltd

The North East’s design, architecture and creative businesses will come together at the region’s inaugural Design NOW symposium, taking place in Gateshead on 7 October.

Organised as part of the 2016 Northern Design Festival, the symposium will see some of the most influential names in the UK design industry give insights into their creativity and practice. Speakers include the 2015 Turner Prize winners Assemble, internationally-renowned artist Noma Bar and Newcastle-based design brand Deadgood.

Dan Ziglam, CEO of Deadgood Ltd, said: “The Deadgood brand has its roots in the North East so it’s fantastic for us to be a part of this event, speaking alongside some of the biggest names in design today. The region’s creative sector is going from strength to strength so it’s appropriate that this celebration of good design takes place here.”

Deadgood Ltd was established by Northumbria University 3D design graduates Dan Ziglam and Elliot Brook. The firm produces a cutting edge collection of furniture, lighting and interior products, working with clients including Tyneside Cinema, The Core and the Toffee Factory in Newcastle, as well as producing interiors for venues across the UK and Europe.

The symposium will be moderated by graphic designer, writer and Senior Tutor in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, Adrian Shaughnessy. The line-up is completed by Angus Hyland, partner at the world’s largest independent design consultancy, Pentagram; and Liv Taylor, Head of Research at PATTERNITY which is the world’s leading specialist organisation dedicated solely to pattern.

Karen Nairstone, Director of the 2016 Northern Design Festival, said: “The North East has firmly established itself as a real hotbed of creativity. We’ve seen a marked increase in recent years in the number of design, architecture and creative businesses choosing the North East as their base so it makes sense that a symposium like Design NOW, which will bring together the leading lights of the industry, takes place in Gateshead.”

The Northern Design Centre in Gateshead, which is home to many of the region’s creative and design-led businesses, is hosting the Design NOW symposium.

Gateshead Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Economy said: “Northern Design Centre is not only the place to find some of the region’s hottest design talent but it’s also a regional resource for industry to learn about what good design looks like and how it can drive and sustain business growth.

“We are thrilled to work with the Northern Design Festival again and host the Design NOW symposium, where our world class speakers will share their experience on the value good design brings.

The visual identity for the 2016 Northern Design Festival was created by Newcastle’s JUMP, a full-service creative agency which has recently announced new contract wins with Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Design NOW symposium is on Friday 7 October at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead. It is part of the 2016 Northern Design Festival, which takes place from 7 to 16 October at venues across Newcastle and Gateshead.

Click here to find out more and book tickets for Design NOW. 

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We’re looking for a team of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers for this year’s Northern Design Festival. Design Event was established in 2005 to showcase good design and support designers across the North. We do this through a range of programmes including the Northern Design Festival, showcasing at the London Design Festival and our talks programme featuring leading designers.

The Northern Design Festival is a showcase of the best in contemporary design by leading northern, national and international designers across graphics, furniture, fashion, illustration, architecture, ceramics, textiles and lighting. Ranging from Turner Prize winners to some of the UK’s hottest emerging makers, this year’s Festival has eight exhibitions featuring work by more than 65 designers and architects, plus a programme of special events, tours and talks from some of the world’s leading creatives. The 2016 Northern Design Festival opens on 7 October with the inaugural Design NOW symposium with a stellar line-up of speakers.

The opportunity

The Northern Design Festival recruits a brilliant team of volunteers annually who are invaluable to the smooth running of the Festival and enhancing the overall visitor experience.

For this year’s Festival we are looking for dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers to help out with a range of tasks. As a Festival steward you will act as an ambassador and information point for our visitors, enhancing their overall experience whilst improving your own knowledge of design.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the exhibitions, what’s involved in organising events and to develop your communication skills. Northern Design Festival is ultimately a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, learn more about leading designers and what sparks their imagination. Furthermore, all exhibitions are housed in historic hidden gem locations in and around the city that are otherwise rarely open to the general public!

What’s in it for you?

  • You will receive training in preparation and on the job, which will help you in delivering an amazing experience for Festival-goers
  • The role will enhance your CV – you will gain valuable experience of working on events and exhibitions and may have the opportunity of a professional reference
  • The role will be best tailored to your interests and previous experience
  • You will gain insight into the work of some of the UK’s best designers
  • You’ll get a sneak preview of our stunning Festival venues
  • You’ll work in a dynamic team of like-minded people and develop new friends and contacts

What we’re looking for

We are looking for enthusiastic team players with an interest in the Festival.

Key tasks include:

•    Welcoming visitors to exhibitions and events

•    Helping out with construction, install and take down of exhibitions

•    Supporting the Festival team at openings, previews and special events

•    Helping in the pop up shop

“I got involved with Design Event just after I graduated in 2008. I was looking to gain work experience in a creative environment. As I studied design at university this was a perfect opportunity right in the heart of Newcastle.

I joined the team as a volunteer and help to invigilate various exhibitions across the Festival. It was a fantastic opportunity to work in a different environment with new people and it was brilliant engaging with the general public. The event gave me responsibility and built my confidence in approaching people and talking about their opinions and my own. It also showed me that I could be creative in a different way.” Previous Festival volunteer

How to apply

Please complete the following survey: click here

Please complete this online application as soon as possible, and no later than 21st September 2016. If you have any questions please email Zoe @ marketing@design-event.co.uk.

The Assembly House at night

For this year’s Northern Design Festival we’ve partnered with a range of organisations which all have design at the heart of their work.

Arts Council England – Arts Council England champions and develops art and culture across the country, investing public money to help bring great art and culture to everyone. This year’s Northern Design Festival is supported by Arts Council England and we are also working with the following partners.

BoConcept – BoConcept have been designing and manufacturing furniture for more than 60 years and have an outlet in Newcastle’s Fenwick’s department store. BoConcept’s iconic Imola chair, inspired by the lines of a tennis ball, will be on show at The Assembly House during the Festival.

Cleveland College of Art and Design – The leading provider of specialist creative art and design degrees in the North, Cleveland College of Art and Design offers unique creative degrees supported by the highest quality of teaching and a community in which to develop as a successful artist or designer.

Cool Blue – This multi-award winning, integrated marketing agency believe that great design improves everything and have designed brands and campaigns for Barker & Stonehouse, Matthew Williamson, Huntsman and Story Homes, amongst others.

Crafts Council UK – The Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme supports talented new makers at the start of their career and at this year’s Northern Design Festival we will host an exhibition showcasing a selection of work by these emerging talents.

Durham Distillery – This small-batch craft distillery creates hand-crafted spirits using traditional methods, for people who care about the provenance, quality, and craft of the products they consume.

Formica Group – A globally recognised brand, Formica Group works closely with architects, designers and developers to provide surfacing solutions for commercial and residential use. With more than 100 years of history behind it, the company’s ongoing product design and development process underscores its commitment to innovation.

GF Smith – GF Smith paper merchants was founded in 1885 by George Frederick Smith, a man with a singular passion for paper who sought out the finest manufacturers of his day. Today, GF Smith retains his passion for paper and its possibilities.

JUMP – JUMP is a full-service creative agency based here in the North East. As well as creating the identity for this year’s Northern Design Festival, they have worked with clients including the National Trust, the People’s Theatre and NE1.

NBS – NBS is leading a changing industry and is committed to offering distinctive, innovative specification and information solutions to construction industry professionals. NBS is driving the digital evolution in construction right here in the heart of Newcastle, with over 180 staff located within the historic Grade II listed Old Post Office building on St Nicholas Street.

Northern Design Centre – A dedicated space for creative and design-led businesses in the North East, the Northern Design Centre will host Design NOW, our inaugural design symposium.

RIBA – RIBA champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture. This year’s Northern Design Festival will explore the importance of drawing in architecture through a series of sketches and technical drawings by RIBA members.

Wylam Brewery – Founded in 2000, Wylam Brewery is now housed in the Palace of the Arts in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park, the last remaining building from the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition. Alongside the Brewery is the Brewery Tap and the Grand Hall which plays host to live music and events.

xsite Architecture– Newcastle-based xsite Architecture take a design-led approach to their architectural, urban design and design consultancy services. They’ve presented commissions for NewcastleGateshead’s spectacular Winter Festival and created spaces including Tyneside Cinema’s new bar café and Newcastle’s Toffee Factory.

Thanks to all our partners and sponsors, who have helped to make this year’s celebration of good design happen.

The Northern Design Festival 2016 takes place from 7 to 16 October in Newcastle and Gateshead. Tickets are already available for the inaugural Design NOW one-day symposium.

Book tickets now for Design NOW

Northern Design Festival

The Northern Design Festival 2016 takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead from 7 to 16 October, exploring the theme of ‘where do ideas come from?’. Through a programme of events, exhibitions, talks and workshops we will discover how ideas evolve into the furniture, products, posters, brands and buildings which surround us every day.

To kick off the festival, we’ll be welcoming some of the UK’s leading creative talent in the fields of architecture, design, graphics and illustration for our inaugural design symposium, Design NOW.

Curated by Design Event and supported by the Northern Design Centre, the Design NOW symposium will address questions including ‘what value can good design bring?’ and ‘how can we nurture creativity?’.

Speakers include the winners of the 2015 Turner Prize, designer and architect collective Assemble; Israel born graphic designer, illustrator and artist Noma Bar; and graphic designer, author and creative director Angus Hyland.

Festival Director Karen Nairstone, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured an outstanding panel of speakers for this, our first Design NOW symposium.

“As well as addressing the theme of this year’s Northern Design Festival, ‘where do ideas come from?’ our panel will be giving an insight into their own inspiration, output and creative practices.”

 The identity for this year’s Northern Design Festival has been created by Newcastle-based creative agency JUMP.

Lucy Batley, Co-Founder and Creative Director of JUMP, said: We are delighted to present the identity for this year’s Northern Design Festival. The visual identity responds to the overarching festival theme of ‘Where do ideas come from?’. In search of the source of our own ideas we recognise that each process is unique. The maze graphic represents the individual journeys and the paths they follow, all of which are connected to the same destination – the arrival of an idea. The identity also acts as an invitation to explore, examine and discover the festival.

“JUMP are proud to support Northern Design Festival, which showcases the best in creative design, and promises to deliver the most ambitious festival to date.”

The Design NOW symposium takes place on Friday 7 October, 10.30am to 4.30pm at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead.

A limited number of early bird tickets for Design NOW, priced at £53, are available to buy from today.

Book tickets for the Design NOW symposium.

View the full line-up for the 2016 Northern Design Festival.