Design Manchester 2017
Nothing gives me FOMO quite like Design Manchester. So many amazing things going on in the city, but so little time! Luckily this year I got to go to quite a few cool things, mostly because of my brilliant partner Vic and the lovely Malcolm Garrett. Thanks for dragging me along you guys!!
Fizzing at the Terminals
The first event we went to was Fizzing at the Terminals, a collection of Malcolm's designs for the Buzzcocks. The show was a celebration of 40 years of collaboration, displaying album covers and posters from 1977-2017. The vibe was like stepping back into art school. Everything felt exciting and everyone seemed open to a good chat. I had two glasses of wine when I should have had one so that might have had something to do with it. Malcolm's work felt new, like it could have been made yesterday, and I loved how neatly his design worked with Linder Sterling's punky illustrations.
Orgasm Addict Reframed
To accompany the show, 120 designers and illustrators submitted their own versions of the famous Orgasm Addict sleeve. They were all square, and used the proper blue and yellow pantones, but each one stood out as an individual. Vic and I sat and watched the reel play and laughed at all the penis jokes (the one with Buzz Aldrin was great). Some didn't appeal to me until Malcolm explained the thinking behind them, like one that was a split of yellow and blue that turned out to be the exact percentage of each colour used in the album! Caroline Dowsett's stood out to me immediately, but of course I didn't realise it was her until I saw it on twitter the other day. Our favourite was the one that made the A a penis and the O an orifice, which turned out to be Malcolm's. (The orifice is a mouth).
The Buzzcocks + PINS
To round off this magical list of events, Malcolm invited us to the Buzzcocks gig. We were on the guest list and it all felt very flash. The Buzzcocks were fun but I really REALLY liked PINS!! They're so cool and dreamy and sparkly. I got chatting to Lily, a 14 year old girl standing next to me who is learning the drums, and she was so excited to see women up on the stage playing instruments and making amazing sounds.
Design City Weekender (a.k.a. Manchester Print Fair)
The last event I went to was the print fair, or “weekender” as the cool kids call it now. It has grown so much since it’s days in the People’s History Museum!! I remember having to squeeze between stalls because it was so cramped full of people and art. Upper Campfield Market Hall has loads of space to move about, with 2/3rds of the Hall dedicated to art stalls and the rest for food and drink. The selection of exhibitors was varied so it felt like there was something for everyone - from 50p zines to £50 screenprints. Here are some illustrations of the lovely pins I bought there!
Now usually I'm an OBSESSIVE collector of business cards, but for some reason I don't have some from this event!! Some of the amazing illustrators who's pins I bought will have to go un-credited until I (or you?) can finally hunt them down on twitter and link them here.
So that's my round-up of Design Manchester 2017. This event never fails to deliver, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for something arty to do in the city. I can't wait for next year!!