keith and mark minimoderns landscape

Often described as ‘cult Brit homewares brand’,Mini Moderns was established in 2006 byLondon based designers, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire.
The brand specialises in applied pattern across a range of products including wallpapers,fabrics, cushions, bedding and ceramics. A recently launched colour collection made from recycled paint complements the growing range.

The duo’s design influences encompass mid-century British textiles, ceramics and collectibles. Sharing a passion for social history, their work is often informed by childhood memories, literature and travel. As well as launching their own collections,
Mini Moderns work on a number of commissions, including recent collaborations with the Courtauld Gallery, Southbank Centre, National Theatre and the London Transport Museum.

They uniquely create ‘pattern with a story’ where all their pattern designs are created with a strong personal narrative.

Mark and Keith’s collective design experience spans fashion, product and interiors, as well as corporate branding and design. Keith’s graphic design degree took him into the world of fashion, where he held senior creative roles at Pepe Jeans London, Dr Martens and Red or Dead. Mark’s journey took a more circuitous route. Armed with a degree in English Literature, he worked in publishing and children’s television before establishing himself as a designer maker, eventually sidestepping into branding. The pair met whilst working in a London branding and design agency.
Finding the world of corporate design too restrictive, Mark and Keith followed their joint passion for interiors, reigniting people’s interest in wallpaper design with their first collection. What was originally intended as a creative outlet quickly established itself as a successful business, and Mini Moderns now sells throughout Europe, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

Key to the brand’s success are the long term relationships forged with trusted suppliers, helping to support UK business whenever possible. Products created in this way bear the standard: ‘Made in the UK by nice people’. Recently the design duo have worked with licence partners such as Wild & Wolf, Ulster Weavers, The Window Film Company, Vlaze, John Lewis and KMI Brands.

The brand has just celebrated ‘10 years of Pattern with a Story’, and Keith and Mark will be talking about the development of Mini Moderns from its launch in 2006 to the iconic brand it is today.

When : 30 March 2017 18:00 – 20:00
Where : Northern Design Centre, Hawks Road, Gateshead, NE8 3DF

Tickets : £7.50 / students £6.00

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electrik-sheep-tile

The 2016 Northern Design Festival has drawn to a close. It’s been a packed 10 days with exhibitions at the Assembly House, Cooper’s Studios and 11 Grey Street, some fantastic talks, tours and events, plus our first ever Design NOW symposium.

If you came to any part of this year’s festival we’d love to hear what you thought so that we can make it even better next year.

Please spare a few minutes to complete our short survey – everyone who completes one will be entered into a free prize draw* to win a tile by Electrik Sheep (shown above), the winners of this year’s award for Most Innovative Product, presented by NBS.

Complete the survey.

*A winner will be drawn at random, from everyone who completed either an online survey or a paper survey during the festival, on 4 November 2016.

NDesignFest awards

The 2016 Northern Design Festival is now well underway, with 8 exhibitions of work by more than 65 designers, makers and architects over 2 floors at the Assembly House – a Grade II* listed building not usually open to the public, only a few minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station – plus another two venues in Newcastle city centre, and a programme of special events and talks.

We were absolutely delighted to welcome our sponsors to judge and present four Awards this year. Congratulations to the winners – you can see (and buy!) their work at the Festival in the Design Event MART and also in our Pop-Up Shop, where prices start from just £2.50.

The 2016 Northern Design Festival Awards were designed and made by RASKL and Nick James.

Tickets are £2.50 for unlimited entry to exhibitions (under 18s free) and the Festival runs until Sunday 16 October. We hope to see you soon!

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.