Here’s the Red Setter end of year countdown….
With the end of the year in sight, it’s time to stop and acknowledge the journey we’ve had this year. Whether that’s one of the many design festivals attended, or ‘My Life in Design’ named the 1# ‘design podcast you must follow’, or even our company trip to Palma, it’s good to remember our 2023 highlights.
Read on and enjoy our year in review. Thanks to our fantastic team and to all the brilliant people we’ve worked with this year that continue to inspire us and make it fun!
1. Hola Palma!
A weekend to Palma you say? Yes, bringing together the whole team to hang out in the Balearic capital was just the tonic. In a sangria-soaked weekend to Palma, Majorca, our team bonded over storytelling treasure hunts around the sunny palm tree-lined streets of the city, an afternoon by the hotel pool, and nights out enjoying tapas. Gracias Red Setter!
2. Make creativity matter (Creative Industry Alliance)
Art & design is disappearing off state school syllabuses. The funding cuts to creative education is a concern for a lot of us in the creative industries. Recruitment is getting harder and a lack of diversity is a major problem. This autumn Claire teamed up with Sean Thomas, ECD at JKR and Jack Renwick, D&AD president to found the Creative Industry Alliance. It’s an initiative to get art & design firmly back into state schools and everyone talking about why creativity matters to our culture and economy. There’s also a petition to get the topic talked about within government. Please check out the website of the Creative Industry Alliance and support and share if you haven’t already and watch out for more in 2024.
3. Planes, trains and no automobiles
We hopped on a few planes and lots more trains this year with some excellent client and design festival travels; from Brighton to Belgium and Bratislava; to Amsterdam, Lisbon and New York and beyond. Seeing clients face to face is always better than on a screen, so thanks to our clients for opening up their studios and sharing their time with us this year.
4. My Life in Design podcast
With 40 guests interviewed to date, the My Life in Design podcast has gone from strength-to-strength since its launch last year. In 2023 our interview highlights include Paula Scher, Harry Pearce and Marina Willer from Pentagram, Brian Collins of COLLINS and Stefan Sagmeister (and so many more!). The podcast continues to grow and was named by Feedspot as the number one in the top 5 design podcasts in the UK you must follow.
5. Brighton Design Meet Up aka FLOCK
This year saw the Brighton (and South Coast) design community come together twice in the newly named FLOCK – a gathering of Brighton (and beyond) design people. The most recent event took place in November at Brighton Beach House with over 55 designers joining in the fun. The new name and new brand came courtesy of Baxter & Bailey, whose co-founder and strategic director Dom Bailey is the co-founder of the event with Claire. The event will continue to grow as a place for the local design industry to come together for a few drinks, a chat, and some networking.
6. Partnership with University of Sussex
We have continued our partnership with the University of Sussex and hosted two interns this summer. We also recruited a PR administrator to work with us alongside their final degree work. They impressed us so much that we promoted them to a full-time junior account executive this month. Congratulations Siâny B!
We nearly reached peak festival this year, and firmly believe that there’s nothing quite like being present in person among a few hundred or even tens of thousands of like-minded individuals. It’s an incredible experience to hear first-hand the latest ideas and insights from some outstanding designers who take to the spotlight. Our highlights include the Dieline Forum in Belgium, By Design in Bratislava, Web Summit in Lisbon, and closer to home – D&AD Festival, Wired Impact, and Pentawards Festival. Alex and Claire even went to Glastonbury. That’s how peak festival it got this year!
8. Design legends
Away from the big festival circuit, thanks to Typocircle, we got up close and personal with two of the world’s most iconic designers; Pentagram’s Paula Scher, and Brian Collins of COLLINS. Both design legends, it was a privilege to be in the audience at these talks (Scher was treated like a rock star!). Collins has also left an indelible mark through the power of his storytelling.
Our very own Claire also took to the stage at a number of universities, including RAVE Late at Ravensbourne to talk about how she set up the podcast ‘My Life in Design’. Watch this space for more in 2024.
9. Local love
Even though we’re a global agency, our local community is hugely important to us. We got to know the brilliant charity FareShare Sussex and Surrey a bit better this year. The charity fights food waste and hunger and has so far redistributed over 53 million tonnes of food – enough for 128 million meals. Our team of volunteers went in to help pick and pack food orders for delivery. Our PR junior Siân even took on the role of driver’s mate delivering food to local community groups. Thanks to our team for getting stuck in.
10. Design Day
Sometimes it’s good to step away from the screen and see iconic design up-close. In September we had a special team day, heading to the Design Museum to kick start a whole immersive design day. A whistle-stop tour through the history of design, was followed by the wonderful REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion exhibition, then over to the V&A and the Brompton Design District to enjoy the delights of the London Design Festival. Yes design industry, we love you. Here’s to another amazing year in 2024.