The Best Art and Design Conferences of 2019

Image: Branding for D&AD Festival 2019

We've brought together the best conferences and events for designers across digital, UX, branding, graphics, advertising and more from around the UK this 2019 – and a few major ones from overseas you might want to consider booking a trip to.

Events featured here will inspire you, conferences will help build your skills and facilitate meeting like-minded people to build a support network around yourself. We’ll be updating throughout the year as more events are announced, so keep checking back.

We kick off with over fifteen conferences that are mighty in size and local to the UK or worth travelling to, beginning with London's VFX Festival and ending with US highlight Adobe Max. We've also included some regular events you can attend without having to break the bank.

Siggraph 2019

July 28-August 1
Los Angeles, CA

Siggraph is a five-day event that showcases the latest trends, designs and innovations in the areas of animation, VR, games, digital art, mixed reality and CG. You can get a hands-on look at the new technology, live demos, research and acts of collaboration.

Definitely worth going to if you’re interested in emerging technologies, and how they can help your creative processes. See the best highlights from 2018 here and see what amazing VR stuff was on show last year.

Find out more.

London Design Festival

September 14-22
Across London

The highly-regarded annual festival brings together a host of international designers and innovators to showcase newly commissioned works in contemporary design, art and research. It covers all forms of design from architecture and textiles to graphic and digital design.

Details of the full festival haven't been announced yet – but keep an eye on Digital Arts for updates.

Find out more.

Design Matters

September 18-19

This two-day conference is perfect for UI and UX designers, and the conference itself admits it has competent, visionary and nerdy talks, workshops and discussions with an all-new 'nerd tracks', which explores a range of design topics more in depth.

Details for 2019 are yet to be revealed but play around with the nicely retro Internet 1.0 design of the official site for this year.

Find out more.

Trojan Horse Was A Unicorn

September 23-28

Focussing on digital artists from concept art to animation and VFX, THU was our favourite conference of 2018. Describing itself as a 'digital rave', it feels more like a gathering of family and friends than your average industry forum.

That's not to say there's no creative and professional development going on: last year there were talks from the likes of Book of Life director Jorge Gutiérrez, Into The Spiderverse art director David Bleich and Magic The Gathering art director Cynthia Sheppard – plus Shadowboxing live art classes from Nadezda, VR painting classes from Goro Fujita, recruitment sessions with major studios including Naughty Dog and a lot of Power Ranger costumes.

Tickets are on sale now.


October 16

Interact London is a leading design conference that explores the roles that digital design, user experience, artificial intelligence, strategy, and everything in between play in today’s society.

The speakers and talks - both as yet unannounced - presented represent a mix of 'philosophy and practice’ from some of the most accomplished thinkers and practitioners in their fields, and this year's theme is 'The Human & The Machine.' 

Find out more and watch previous Interact talks online here.


October 21-25

VIEW Conference is the premiere international event in Italy on Computer Graphics, Interactive Techniques, Digital Cinema, 2D/3D Animation, VR and AR, Gaming and VFX.

Last year none other than Hans Zimmer did the keynote, and other guests included animator Nora Twomey.

Find out more.

Adobe Max

November 2-6
Los Angeles, CA

This is the best conference to attend if you’re a creative using Adobe software and a mega fan of their products. Each year new Creative Cloud apps and updates are announced at Adobe Max, there’s an epic party that Adobe puts on at the end of the conference, and you get to explore Los Angeles – who’s complaining?

Last year we covered the ever-exciting Adobe Sneaks - new exciting and experimental tools Adobe is working on that may or may not officially launch - and played around with Adobe AR app Project Aero with help from artists Supermundane and Dan Mumford.

Find out more.

Regular events

If you don't fancy breaking the bank but still want to network with fellow creatives on a regular basis, then keep an eye on the Glug site to see what they're holding e.g. Doodle Socials in London and VR 'wonders' in Dublin. Find out more here on events held in the UK and worldwide.

Also worth attending is Yo Illo, a monthly pub meetup that's been running since 2011.

There's no charge, no pressure and no agenda – just the opportunity to talk to like-minded creatives about illustration, sharing opportunities and advice (and sometimes to blow off a little steam). Find out more.

Read next: Here are over 80 female creators in art and design who could speak at your next event

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