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 which 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.

These are events that are mighty in size and local to the UK or worth travelling far and beyond to, beginning with London Design Festival and ending with US highlight Adobe MAX. We've also included some regular events you can attend without having to break the bank.


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.

This year's got some massive names: Brad Bird of The Incredibles and Mission Impossible, director of How to Train Your Dragon Dean DeBlois, Ralph Eggleston, production designer at Pixar, and Aardman's animation director Simone Giampaolo.

Find out more.

Cheltenham Design Festival

November 1-3
Cheltenham, UK

On hiatus for three years, the Cheltenham Design Festival is back with a bang this year, a three-day festival of design where designers, thinkers and innovators come together to discuss how design can bring us all together and make us happier.

Camilla Buchanan (Senior Policy Designer, UK Cabinet Office), designer and author of Oh Shit What Now Craig Oldham, Gavin Strange (Aardman Animation) and designer Tina Touli will all be speaking; along with Steve Matteson, creative type director at Monotype. 

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 - played around with Adobe AR app Project Aero with help from artists Supermundane and Dan Mumford and got a good look at the forthcoming Adobe Fresco.

This year we're hoping catch talks from film graphic design legend Annie Atkins, design titan Paula Scher, illustrator Rob Generette III aka Rob Zilla III, design punk Aaron Draplin, illustrator Lisa Congdon, Digital Arts author Kervin Brisseauxand master letterer Lauren Hom.

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.

Animator meanwhile should attend bi-monthly event See No Evil or the more informal Later Animator as held by Cat Finnie.

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

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