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Design for Life

Press Release   •   Oct 17, 2016 09:18 BST

Glasgow is gearing up for the return of Scotland’s largest international design event. 

Running from 17 – 23 October with exhibitions open to the public until 25 November, the 2016 festival marks the most ambitious programme to date for Graphic Design Festival Scotland in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The festival which promotes and celebrates the best of international graphic design and visual communication, and aims to fly the flag for Scotland’s profile alongside the great design capitals of the world, was founded in 2014 by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist, two graduates from Edinburgh College of Art who run design practice, Warriors Studio.

With 15 workshops led by incredible designers from across the UK, Europe and the USA, two conferences, two panel discussions, three exhibitions, two competitions andan evening of short films in collaboration with Pretend Lovers – the 2016 event programme will once again focus largely on learning, collaboration, creative thinking and bring international creatives from across the world to Scotland. The festival will also showcase 200 posters at The Lighthouse, designed by 178 designers from around the world as part of its International Poster Competition.

With over 3400 entries from 72 countries including Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, Argentina, China, USA and Australia, the posters have been curated by Unfun (Nuremberg) and Lamm & Kirch (Leipzig) – two highly regarded design studios, together with Glasgow based design practice and festival founders, Warriors Studio, and Paris based graphic designer and Creative Director of Chaumont Design Graphique, Étienne Hervy.

Emerging creatives will also be given an opportunity to gain one-to-one advice from industry leaders from twelve of Scotland's leading design agencies as part of a Live Creative Project.

Over forty individuals have been offered work placements across Scotland as a result of this Live Project forum with six now in full time employment.

Since the festival’s creation, Graphic Design Festival Scotland has partnered with more than 80 organisations, welcomed over 20,000 participants, attendees and visitors from places including New York, Japan, Beirut, Israel, Norway, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain. In 2015 the programme completely sold out billing it as the largest event ever hosted at The Lighthouse - Scotland’s National Centre for Design and Architecture.

James Gilchrist, Graphic Design Festival Scotland said:

“It’s going to be an action packed week of photography, film-making, advertising, copy writing, visual merchandising, graphic design, illustration, animation, short films, type design, music and celebration. We can’t wait!”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“Scotland is a hive of creative talent and our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 has shone a spotlight on these industries, presenting the country as forward-thinking, unique and exciting to global audiences.”

“With the backdrop of Glasgow’s diverse cultural atmosphere, the Graphic Design Festival is set to be an exceptional event and we hope many visitors come from near and far to the city to experience the fantastic variety of work from a wide range of creative minds.”


Photographer credit: Gordon Burniston

For further information contact:

James Gilchrist, Graphic Design Festival Scotland: 07866 574 904

Beth Wilson, Graphic Design Festival: 07826 857 206

Notes to Editors

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  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
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      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016