Design Day Out – Birmingham Design Festival

On June 9th 2022, the Sherbet Donkey Media design team attended their first Birmingham Design Festival. The day was filled with fun, education and of course lunch! Here is an insight into how the day progressed and what the girls got up to.


On June 9th 2022, the Sherbet Donkey Media design team attended their first Birmingham Design Festival. The day was filled with fun, education and of course lunch! Here is an insight into how the day progressed and what the girls got up to.

A Free-For-All

First, we went to a talk on a concept called ‘Aesthetic Accountability’ in which the speakers were asking us- what would happen if all positive and negative feedback effected the aesthetic of a brand? For example, 1 negative sentiment would make the brands logo become deformed, discredited, (see below) then one positive sentiment and the logo starts to reform to back to its original state.

They had trialled this through coding which they had created, and the outcome showed that brands would take a hit from this as people would automatically know when they land on their profile that they have had negative feedback. Being in the very early trial period there where a lot of questions asked about how this would work in the long run, would it just be a continuous cycle of people becoming aware of brands doing poorly from their deformed branding, people not using them, and then their branding going back to normal, so consumers think they have changed their ways?

This was a very interesting talk to start the day off with and I think it left many people wanting to find out more and research this concept of ‘Aesthetic Accountability’.

Learning to Let Go

Our next stop was with the lovely Amy Victoria Marsh, an Illustrator from Manchester. She spoke about her relationship with social media, learning to love her work after going through a tough time in life and, obviously, learning to let go.

After talking about her work, personal life and travels she concluded with these 5 things:

01 Seeing social media for what it is….. nobody’s life is as perfect as it appears on Instagram.

02 It’s not personal

03 Everyone starts somewhere

04 You can change, and don’t be afraid to do so

05 Do you like what you are creating or doing in life?


Mistakes I Made So You Don’t Have To

Next was a designer / collage artist from Newcastle, Jimmy Turrell. He spoke about work that he had completed over the years and the best and worst clients that he had to work with. He specialised in collage design which ultimately took him on the path of illustrating for newspapers and moving onto animation of lyric videos, working with artists such as Beck and Prodigy.

Along the way he worked within the fashion industry creating Hugo Boss x Jimmy Turrell (as seen below). Ultimately, he has had a very colourful work experience and he wanted to get the point across that mistakes are what help you grow in your career and as a person. If you weren’t to make mistakes you would just coast through life and never progress.

BCU Graphic Design Show

During the course of the day, we went to visit the exhibition showing work done by the graphic design students at the Birmingham City University. It was nice to see the up-and-coming talent in Birmingham and view their projects.

Freedom in the Making

Finally, we had the main event at the Giant screen – Freedom in the making.  This was with speakers from all over the country sharing their journeys in the design industry.

Jay Blades MBE

The first speaker was Jay Blades MBE. Most people would know him from his very satisfying show, the repair shop, however, he has a multitude of experience in growing a business, helping out charities and teaching young people how to do the same. He spoke about where he has come from and what he has been through. Along with this he spoke about his vision for the future of, not only his business, but the young people he has been helping along the way.  He has also become a chairman at a university to create new opportunities.

Ailbhe Keane

After this was the founder and creative director of Izzy Wheels, a designer wheel cover company for wheelchairs. Their message  “if you can’t stand up, stand out”. Keane’s sister Izzy was born with spina bifida where the baby’s spinal cord doesn’t form properly making them disabled from birth. She went on to explain that wheelchairs don’t show off people personalities.  As children Izzy and Ailbhe dressed up the wheelchair to give Izzy more confidence being the ‘odd one out’ and this is where Izzy Wheels stemmed from.

Ailbhe’s story was very inspiring and her and Izzy have managed to work with a multitude of dream brands including Barbie, Hello Kitty and even


Overall, the day was very insightful and inspiring, I think we (the design team) took a lot away from the day and met some really lovely people. We are looking forward to going back next year!

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